A Medical Device Daily

BRUSSELS — Over the next month, countries all over Europe will be alerted concerning damaging consequences of fraud and corruption on healthcare, according to the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EFHCN). The network estimates that 30 billion to 100 billion are lost every year to such crimes.

From Nov. 9 to Dec. 9 — the latter date United Nations Worldwide Anti-Corruption day — members of the EFHCN will be promoting messages in 14 countries to an estimated 210 million citizens.

Dermid McCausland, president of EFHCN, said, “Over the next month, our members will be pushing hard-hitting messages on the effects of fraud and corruption. The citizens of Europe need to know this plague on our healthcare systems threatens our lives and those of our families. Whether it is an opportunist thief or the organized criminal gang, money lost to fraud and corruption means less money spent on life-saving operations and medical equipment.”

Stuart Gilman, head of Anti-Corruption Unit and the Global Programme against Corruption (UNODC) said, “Public health services can be so degraded by corruption that bribery or gifts become the norm for receiving any medical treatment. Corruption turns healthcare on its head, so that the average citizen views a clinic or hospital as likely to cause harm as to make them better. “

Action by EHFCN members during the campaign will include: web sites dedicated to fraud awareness and presentations to key National Health Service staff in England and Wales; E-postcards sent to NHS staff in Scotland reminding them of their responsibilities in tackling fraud; information concerning the levels of healthcare fraud detected in the Netherlands published in an annual report; and the launch of an action plan to counter healthcare fraud for 2006-2008.

Bio Medica in Spanish order for RDS systems

American Bio Medica (ABMC; Kinderhook, New York) reported receiving an order of 80,000 units for its rapid drug screen (RDS) from Diagnosticos Rapidos De Espa a (Sevilla, Spain), ABMC’s distributor in Spain since June 2004. It said that the value of the order exceeds $400,000.

Diagnosticos Rapidos, it said, will launch sales in December with a television and radio campaign, and Jose Maria Reyes Dorado, president of Diagnosticos Rapidos, has forecast sales of from 500,000 to 975,000 in first year of sales.

The RDS, ABMC’s original one-step lateral flow immunoassay test for the simultaneous detection of two to 10 drugs of abuse in urine, is FDA-cleared for professional use and CE marked. Dorado forecasts that 75% of the tests sold will detect five drugs, with the remaining 25% detecting eight.

Stan Cipkowski, CEO of ABMC, said, “We have been working very closely with Jose Maria and his associates at Diagnosticos Rapidos De Espa a for over two years. The progress they have made in their current markets for our RDS is impressive, and we expect to see them succeed in other markets as well.”

The company also reported that it recently received the NSAI Certificate of Registration of Quality System ISO 13485:2003. ISO 13485:2003 is the most comprehensive ISO quality standard specific to medical devices.

CryptoCard wins security contract

CryptoCard (London/Ontario) reported being awarded a security contract by the UK’s largest mental health trust to roll out 400 of its KT-1 key chain two-factor authentication tokens to staff working around London.

South London and Maudsley National Health Services Trust, which provides mental health and substance misuse services for people in South London, bought the tokens to ensure patient data is only accessed by qualified people.

“The need for that data to go to only authorized people is critical,” said Rian Aldridge, technical infrastructure manager for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. “If we don’t do that properly severe penalties can be applied.”

Laws such as the Mental Health Act and the Data Protection Act mean that the trust, which employs 4,500 people, has to demonstrate strict standards of privacy and a high level of IT security to the government.

Aldridge said, “We needed two-factor authentication because we have a lot of external clients and staff who work out of hours. We’ve put it in so data only goes to the people it should do.”

The KT-1 key chain tokens work by giving staff passwords, which expire after just one use, making them redundant to potential hackers. This means the organization has a stronger level of authentication, and staff no longer relies on ‘static’ passwords, which can be easily defeated.

“We’ve done a lot of work with the public sector so we really understand the need to make things work while keeping costs down,” said Jason Hart, CEO of CryptoCard Europe. “In this case, it is critical that patient data is protected. It’s extremely sensitive information and it is essential that the trust has the tools to secure it.”

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