Oncology Institute director arrested

BELGRADE -- Director of the Oncology and Radiology Institute of Serbia Nenad Borojević and several other persons have been arrested, it has been confirmed.

They are suspected of giving and receiving bribes in collusion with pharmaceutical companies, police said.

The suspects will be charged with favoring some pharmaceutical companies in the process of purchasing cancer treatment medicines.

Cancer patients were given higher than necessary dosages of cytostatics in order to increase the consumption of the medication, it has emerged.

Interior Minister Ivica Dačić said that the institute's Head of Pediatrics Zoran Bekić, Head of Pharmacy Ivana Popović and Deputy Director Zoran Tomašević were arrested along with Borojević.

According to him, police also have the director of Roche pharmaceuticals office in Belgrade, Vojislav Petrović, in custody.

Other suspects detained include Director of PharmaSwiss Oncology Sector Andrej Soretić and Predrag Marinković of AstraZeneca bio-pharmaceutical company.

Dačić pointed out that the suspects are believed to have accepted bribes worth RSD 80mn and EUR 150,000 from March 2007 until the end of 2009.

The police investigation into the case lasted 14 months.