New fraud-scandal in cancer drugs shakes Germany

The trend towards ever more individual therapies is also attracting black sheeps to earn more and more (illegal) money with the so-called “pharmaceutical gold”. 

It all looked so beautiful and transparent.  In 2017 Zytoservice received the award as one of the best employers in Hamburg.  Next press releases are about an action day for children to find or – ironically – the latest press release about an open day in the company. Zytoservice had that open day today, unintentional.  

Around 420 police officers stormed and examined the company headquarters today. In the biggest raid that the Hanseatic City of Hamburg has seen in its history, the suspicion was investigated that the company had committed a millions fraud with cancer drugs. Today’s action is the result of a two-year investigation. The sums involved are enormous. A single health insurance company is said to have been damaged to the tune of over €8 million. 

The gang fraud was aimed at establishing an illegal monopoly system. Doctors and pharmacists were involved and bribed.  According to its own statements, the company is Germany’s leading manufacturer of specific infusion solutions for cancer patients. This enables a highly individual therapy. More than 1000 individual and custom-made infusions left the factory every day. 

As the “Panorama” editorial team of the television channel “Das Erste” reports, individual doctors are said to have received “non-repayable loans, the use of luxurious vehicles or other monetary benefits” such as practice facilities in addition to so-called kickback payments amounting to more than 500,000 euros.

The company is managed by Dr. Mirco Schäcke, Pia Sundermann and Dr. Armin Jentsch. In order to disguise the business conduct, a clinic was presumably included in the company’s portfolio. Here, as in medical care centres throughout Germany, access to patient data, doctors and highly lucrative prescriptions was possible.