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Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry are falling into a “corruption trap”: The Bundestag passed a law combating corruption in the healthcare sector, April 2016

Physicians or alternative practitioners, pharmacists or pharmaceutical representatives: Members of the entire healthcare sector are risking and threatened by lengthy prison sentences in case of corrupt conduct. The law adopted on 14 April 2016 combating corruption contributes two new (special) criminal offences by introducing section 299a and section 299b Penal Code. These provisions are very broadly defined ensuing that with regard to hitherto legitimate cooperation inquiries can now be conducted in case of suspected corruption. Therefore, distribution and sales channels, observational and other studies, author and cooperation contracts have to be checked immediately for compliance with the new regulations and have to be adjusted, if required. Furthermore, medical practices, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies have to adjust their compliance management accordingly.

Competition as well as the confidence of the patients in the independence of medical decisions is dented and eroded by corruption and corruptibility (active and passive bribery). The annual damage caused by corruption in the healthcare sector is said to amount to up to EUR 10 billion. Due to a legal loophole in many cases medical professionals were only threatened by a fine or consequences under professional law when they accepted being bribed. This loophole already reminded and addressed to by the Grand Criminal Panel with the Federal Supreme Court in 2012 is now closed by the frequently discussed law combating corruption – subject to its signing by the Federal President. (...)


BB NL Compliance, White Collar Crime April 2016.pdf