Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


German prosecutors probe again into bribes by drug companies

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 03 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1333

Rapid Response:

All is not well in the Pharmaceutical Republic of Germany

Twenty years ago it was standard procedure to supply doctors in
Germany (only West Germany at the time) with bagfuls of free drug samples,
cosmetics and other goodies.
These were intended to be given to patients in need but the reality turned
out to be different.
I have a few doctor relatives and colleagues in the Fatherland and all of
them enjoyed these freebies for many years. It is nice when you get the
shower gel soap BADEDAS, the best in the business, and special
toothpastes, hair lotions and cosmetics for the "Frau Doktor" all gratis
and delivered to your door.
Those were times of innocence.
Today, the same practice continues but emphasis now is on Pro-Active
In the name of 'early discovery improves the chances for a cure' many semi
-criminal acts are performed daily.
For those who read German I can highly recommend the book by Joerg Blech :
"Die Krankheitserfinder" . As to the identity of the pharmaceutical
company under investigation the secret is already out and the long arm of
the law is extending far beyond Bavaria to Darmstadt, Frankfurt (Hesse)
and Stuttgart (Baden-Wuerttemberg).

I am glad the will seems to be there and leave it to the Germans to
tackle a job like this: Unrelenting, thorough and with No Mercy.
It is about time.
The Aerztekammer of course is making all the right, politically correct
noises but will have to come around. They are NOT the only ones who can
strip the cheating doctors of their licenses.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 June 2004
Dr. Herbert H. Nehrlich
Private Practice
Bribie Island, Australia 4507