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Backing for GP over drugs claims

Doctor taken to a tribunal by the state for over-prescribing free drugs has received support from unions

A DOCTOR taken to a tribunal by the state for over-prescribing free drugs has received support from unions, politicians and medical professionals.

Didier Poupardin, 64, who practises in Vitry-sur-Seine, was accused by the Val-de-Marne caisse primaire d’assurance maladie (Cpam) of abusing a prescription system reserved for people with certain serious diseases that gives 100 per cent refunds for the cost of drugs.

His case, before the tribunal des affaires de sécurité sociale in Créteil, has drawn support from across France, both inside and outside the medical world.

There have also been claims that Cpam is trying to make an example of the GP.

Dr Poupardin is accused of misusing a two-part prescription, reserved for people affected by long-term diseases (ALDs) such as Aids or cancer.

The two sections separate medicines linked directly to the disease, which get 100 per cent cover, and drugs prescribed for side-effects, which go in a section with normal, lower, levels of reimbursement.

The Cpam claims Dr Poupardin refused to make the distinction, including all the prescriptions in the top space allowing for full reimbursement.

It cost Cpam €2,612.43 and its lawyer said Dr Poupardin should pay a further €4,000 penalty and €2,000 for its costs.

Support has come from the Vitry-sur-Seine mayor, councillors, health and workers’ unions, anti-racism movement Mrap and left-wing parties. The Syndicat de la médecine générale said: “We will continue to denounce these hindrances on access to health care.”

One doctor, speaking outside the hearing, said it was difficult to differentiate between side-effects of the disease and side effects of drugs.

The verdict has been postponed while the tribunal asked for evidence of the medicine relieving long-term conditions.

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