Act on Combatting Bribery in the Healthcare Sector

    Germany

    Act on Combatting Bribery in the Healthcare Sector

    The Act on Combatting Bribery in the Healthcare Sector of 2016 (only available in German here(‘the Act’) prohibits the offer, promise or granting a benefit to a healthcare professional that distorts domestic or international competition when prescribing or obtaining drugs, or when referring patients 

    Last Updated: July 30, 2019


  • Requirements

    The Act added Articles 299a and 299b to the German Criminal Code (‘the Code’) which refer specifically to corruption and bribery in healthcare. In particular, Article 299a of the Code provides that a member of a healthcare profession who, in connection with the practice of their profession, demands, accepts the promise of or directly accepts a benefit for themselves or a third person as compensation in return for the prescription of medicinal products or other health care services and products or of medical devices, the procurement of medicinal products or other health care products or of medical devices that are intended for direct use by the health care professional or one of his supporting staff, ofor the referral of patients or test materials in such a way as to give unfair preference to another in domestic or foreign competition shall be punished by up to three years imprisonment or a fine. 

    In addition, Article 299b of the Code provides that whoever offers, promises or grants a member of a healthcare profession or a third person a benefit as compensation for their prescription or dispensing of medicinal and healthcare products, services, medical devices, or the procurement of medicinal products or other health care products or of medical devices that are intended for direct use by the health care professional or one of his supporting staff, or for the referral of patients or test materials in such a way that the health care professional gives unfair preference to himself or another in domestic or foreign competition shall be punished by up to three years imprisonment or a fine. 

    Finally, Article 300 of the Code provides that particularly serious cases shall be punished with imprisonment of three months to five years. A particularly serious case is defined as the case where the offence relates to a major benefit or the offender acts on a commercial basis or as a member of a gang whose purpose is the continued commission of such offences. 

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