Pharmaceutical companies pay Doctors in Germany every year many millions of euros – you will pay for consulting and lectures, travel, and training. 2016 could be the use of these economic relations for the first time in Detail to understand: More than 20,000 physicians have been involved in a transparency initiative of the pharmaceutical companies and agreed to be named – with the sum of their contributions.
In a joint Research MIRROR and “Correctiv merged” this information and made accessible, in interactive maps and a searchable database. The benefits to Doctors and pharmacists, and other health were appointed. At the same time, the editors reported critically about the linkages. Because, as studies show, these can affect the professional judgment of Doctors. The financial relationship with a pharmaceutical company can lead to a conflict of interest. The possible consequence is that the medical professionals decide fully in the interests of their patients.
This danger of a journalistic process, and to readers on a personal level, is transparent – that is the added value of the project “Euro for Doctors is for the MIRROR”. It should point to the possible conflicts of interest, and a dialogue between patients and Physicians stimulate. Some of these doctors but did not want to appear in the database of journalists – and went to court.
A Firm That Has Hundreds Of Procedures
Until today, 174 Doctors and specialist group members have filed a lawsuit against the publication of the contributions by the MIRROR, against “Correctiv” were initiated in 132 procedures. Represented the plaintiff by the Berlin firm of Langsdorff & Weidenbach, who specialises in medical law.
This Abundance of orders the firm through a club, you advise in legal matters. According to the publications of the contributions of this club called the therapeutic freedom for Physicians e. V. turned directly to physicians. A Letter was offered to them, in a class action lawsuit to join, if you want to fight against “defamation” and “a reproach to belong to the venal Doctors”,. This allegation had taken place in the reporting LEVEL and “Correctiv” never – the recipient of the letter may have motivated the alleged quotes, nevertheless, in addition to go to court.
According to stark, the suit fonts resemble in their reasoning: the reports of The redactions were unlawful, because Doctors “would be as corruptible and greedy to the pillory”. Therefore, the reporting hurt the doctors in your General personality right.
Research for the Public
This view was followed by the courts so far, in any case. The lawsuit was unfounded, noted, for example, the regional court of Stuttgart. In the reporting of the LEVEL of the “risk of influencing’m going to submit objectively and by studies as the Problem described”. At the same time, will not be described, that many physicians of the risk of a conflict of interest by government grants are not aware of. A stigmatisation of these Doctors do not.
Positively, the district court also assessed that the editors have gathered the information from publicly available sources. Because the pharmaceutical companies had published the sums in each case in the lists of your own – in more than 50 documents, so it is for the patient was hardly possible to get an Overview of the economic linkages of individual Doctors. You would have to search each document individually, which was difficult in many cases, in addition to technically.
It is for each and every potential Doctor’s places of interest, the non-cash benefits is to be a doctor to know. The only the millions of searches in the published database does not show. Also the regional court of Stuttgart has evaluated the public interest in information as a high – and, together with the freedom of the press, of the MIRROR as a priority over the interests of the applicant Physicians. Came to similar Judgments of all the courts so far in procedures for the project “dollars for Doctors”. Many are quite strong, in some cases, the firm has filed an appeal.
Protest at the expense of the General public
From the point of view of the MIRROR the previous results are, of course, gratifying. However, the question of whether it needs so many processes, all of which help bring about similar results, but each new money in the cash register of the Berlin-based firm, rinse it arises at the same time. According to the representative of the doctors it is, however, important to show as many processes at many locations, the legal situation was unsatisfactory. The transparency initiative is needed, therefore, the Revision and / or it should be asked of the legislature.
Paradox appears to be the result in each case: The judgments have been made in the sense of the Public. The costs, however, are likely to be worn in many cases by a legal protection insurance – and, therefore, of the generality of the Insured.
The transparency initiative loses, meanwhile, to reach: Since 2016, the proportion of doctors who agree to the publication of your Name drops. First of all, he was 29 percent, in the following year, at 25 percent, meanwhile, there are still 20 per cent. Every fifth medical doctor who has received grants, so it is still agreed, in the lists of the pharmaceutical companies to emerge.
Therefore, it seems to make sense, the funding will be fully disclosed and this is to enshrine it in law. In other countries such as the USA this is handled already for several years. For patients, this has two big advantages: you can see from the data quite clearly the extent of the financial Connections are derived, which maintains your doctor to pharmaceutical companies Moreover, it is recognizable at a glance, which doctors have not received any payments. In a committed publication, the Chance to make Alternatives to the current practice visible and to describe them constructively would be so.