"I am pissed off about such criminal energy," said federal health minister daniel bahr (FDP) on wednesday in berlin. A lobbyist from the pharmacists’ circle allegedly worked with an accomplice, an external IT employee, to obtain early draft legislation and other sensitive data from bahr’s department in exchange for money. The pharmacists’ association speaks of single acts without any relation to their lobby organization ABDA.
"It is the suspicion of bribery and theft", said bahr. "Insofar it is not a trifle."It is good that the public prosecutor’s office is investigating. It is important to quickly clarify who is guilty and for what purpose. "This is an unding. If this is confirmed, it is also a very big mess."
He was particularly surprised that, in the case of legislation on medicines, texts were known to the public before he himself had seen them. After about two years, he received a concrete clue at the beginning of september and called in the public prosecutor’s office. On 11. September criminal charges had been filed against unknown persons. On 20. In november, the investigators struck: there had been searches at the ministry, at the external IT employee of a company active in the bahr department and at a second suspect. The IT specialist has meanwhile been banned from the premises.
The bundesvereinigung deutscher apothekerverbande (ABDA) has nothing to do with the affair, according to its own statements. "We assume that the existing suspicion can only be directed against individuals," said president-elect friedemann schmidt. No money has been received from the ABDA for such data. "I assume that none of our current employees is under suspicion," schmidt said. Regarding speculation that the lobbyist was a former ABDA employee, he said: "we don’t know." The ABDA was concerned that a whole profession could be put under general suspicion.
The berlin public prosecutor’s office confirmed corresponding investigations. Mails from him or his predecessor philipp rosler (FDP) had not been spied on to his knowledge, bahr said. The aim of the systematic espionage was apparently to obtain targeted information about the ministry’s still secret legislative plans in the pharmaceutical and pharmacy sectors. According to bahr, this concerned, among other things, a pharmacy operating regulation as well as drug laws.
"I don’t see any harm to the legislative work of the federal ministry of health," bahr said. In his decisions as a minister, the events had not influenced him.
CDU health expert jens spahn said aggressive lobbying in the health care sector was commonplace. "But paid espionage would be a new quality."It is to be cleared up whether this was the act of individuals.
Green party vice-president kerstin andreae called for all ministries to be checked for security leaks. "This also affects the contract award procedures to IT service providers," andreae told the newspapers of the WAZ group (thursday). Left-wing leader bernd riexinger called in the blattern for a transparency commissioner.
Left-wing health politician martina bunge said it was less scandalous that lobbyists learned what was planned than that they determined what was done. "The minister’s and the coalition’s elevation rings hollow as long as they do nothing to stop lobbyists from directly intervening in the formulation of legislative texts."SPD and grune demanded comprehensive clarification.