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Transparency International Germany vs. Ratiopharm

Case overview

Date filed 18 July 2006
Current status Rejected
Issue Ratiopharm's unethical marketing in Germany, Belgium et al
Summary of the case Ratiopharm, a pharmaceuticals company and major producer of generic drugs, has allegedly engaged in unethical marketing practices, including bribing doctors and pharmacists in Belgium, Canada, Spain, Estonia and Germany. This is the second complaint concerning Ratiopharm submitted by Transparency International. In June 2006, the German NCP rejected the first complaint, because the case only raised issues about Ratiopharm’s activities in Germany.
Developments/Outcome In December 2006, the German NCP rejected the second complaint against Ratiopharm. The NCP argued that the complaint would had to be dealt with by the NCP of the country where the alleged misbehaviour occurred, i.e. Belgium, Canada, Estonia, and Spain.

Transparency International and the NCP met informally in March 2007. Again, the NCP insisted it could not accept the Ratiopharm case and refused to forward it to the relevant NCPs. The NCP claimed its “hands were tied”.

Transparency International maintains that the alleged misbehaviour emanates from Ratiopharm’s German headquarters to other countries. Therefore, the German NCP should take the lead in handling the complaint. In addition, the NCP’s refusal to forward the case to the other relevant NCPs inspires little faith in the NCP’s offer to assist informally.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Anti-competitive practices, Disclosure of information, Bribery / Corruption, Multiple NCPs

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Germany
NCP address Scharnhorststrasse 34-37 D-10115 Berlin, Germany
NCP website www.bmwi.de/go/nationale-kontaktstelle
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible Ratiopharm
Company address Graf-Arco-Strasse 3 3
Ulrum
Netherlands
Company website http://www2.ratiopharm.com/de/de/pub/home.cfm
Company in violation Ratiopharm
Country of operations Germany
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Some developments are only visible to logged in users.
Date Actor Action Description Document
13 March 2007 Transparency International - Germany press release download pdf (33Kb)  
1 December 2006 National Contact Point Germany reject In December 2006, the German NCP rejected the second complaint against Ratiopharm, arguing that the complaint would have to be dealt with by the NCPs of the countries where the alleged misbehaviour occurred, i.e. Belgium, Canada, Estonia, and Spain.  
19 July 2006 National Contact Point Germany letter NCP acknowledges receipt of the revised complaint.  
18 July 2006 Transparency International - Germany file Second complaint filed with German NCP. The first complaint was rejected, because according to the NCP, it only concerned Ratiopharm’s activities in Germany.  

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