Life Sciences and Healthcare: countering bribery and corruption

Written on 2 Feb 2015

Welcome to the second of our updates on countering bribery and corruption in the Life Sciences and Healthcare sector, examining the regulatory regimes from across Europe.

Draft bill – anti-bribery in the German healthcare sector

The German Minister of Justice Heiko Maas has announced that he wants to present a draft bill for an anti-bribery act in the healthcare sector in. He has highlighted that each patient has the right to get medical treatment that focuses on its health and not on financial interests of the physician.

It is to be expected that the new proposal will incorporate the ideas that were brought forward in the advance made by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Germany to implement an anti-bribery and corruption law in the healthcare environment last year. 

The main proposal of the earlier Federal Ministry advance was to introduce a new provision to the German Criminal Act whereby it would be deemed a criminal offence (with some exceptions) for a healthcare professional to accept gifts or other benefits from the industry.

The background to this advance is a 2012 ruling by the German Federal court, in which the court found that healthcare professionals could in many cases not be prosecuted under criminal law charges due to a gap in the German legislation.