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Pharma firm probed for allegedly bribing doctors

The Local · 22 Jan 2011, 12:06

Published: 22 Jan 2011 12:06 GMT+01:00

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German magazine Der Spiegel said the special investigative unit "INES" had opened a preliminary investigation into Oncosachs. Detectives also searched company property and the offices of doctors involved in the case on Tuesday.

A Berlin oncologist told Der Spiegel that in September, he was offered up to €90,000 in potential rewards for ordering medications through Oncosachs, adding that a representative for the Leipzig company told him he could receive €50 per chemotherapy infusion.

The doctor said if he were to treat 10 cancer patients with infusions each day, he could earn a total of €90,000 in the year. He said he was told that officially, the money would be paid as compensation for participating in a medical study.

"I told the Oncosachs woman that it didn't sound like a study, but more like a commission," the doctor told Der Spiegel.

Oncosachs CEO Uwe Krasselt also owns the company Promedkos, which conducts medical studies and clinical trials. Krasselt rebuffed the claims and denied any knowledge of reported offers made to the oncologist in Berlin.

Krasselt said Promedkos only conducts reputable studies and that no bribes had been paid to doctors. He claimed that Berlin-based drug companies that have lost business to Krasselt were behind the allegations.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, Der Spiegel also obtained an internal company document from Promedkos that lists how much a doctor can potentially be rewarded - €50 for an infusion, with a cap of €300 per patient.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:35 January 22, 2011 by catjones
Bribes are as much a part of German business culture as knock-offs are in China.
14:56 January 22, 2011 by pepsionice
I would challenge anyone to find a doctor in Germany who isn't receiving 'bribes'. I would also qualify this by saying that 'bribes' don't necessarily involve money....which might surprise some folks. I worked with a guy who knew folks in the German drug sales business.

There were various things that some companies were willing to do....to pump up their sales. They could offer up a week at a 4-star hotel in France, the use of a condo in Spain, or even several cases of top-grade wine. Everyone has gotten smart on how to avoid cash....even the doctors. A doctor could just suggest the quiet delivery of a big-screen TV to his home....and it'd be a simple purchase and delivery....without any strings.

I think the German government has gotten itself into a corner where there's not much they can say or do.
00:42 January 23, 2011 by teutonic-knight
@ pepsionice, There are many good hard working German doctors who love their country and work for the benefit of people. Individuals such as yourself are typical people who love to steriotype other countries and make them look bad.

Germany has great honost docotors who work for the benefit of the people.
10:10 January 23, 2011 by catjones
@teutonic-knight....try reading this and other similar stories. pepsionice isn't making Germany look bad, Germany is.
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