German watchdog investigates drug company’s online education courses

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 08 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a723
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is investigating whether professional continuing education courses offered online by drug firms for free to doctors violates healthcare reform laws that went into effect in 2004.

    Hans-Jörg Freese, the Berlin based spokesman for the German Medical Association, said that the cartel office outlined its concerns to the association in a 19 page letter in February. The association and 17 regional member groups are responsible for certifying all continuing education courses, which doctors must regularly take to remain licensed to practise medicine.

    “They [cartel office officials] think that the [medical associations] should not be allowed to certify professional training courses that are offered by pharmaceutical companies …

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