Authorities raided properties in Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary after discovering that a German pharmaceutical trading company was selling forged medication, German police said on Friday.
The German officials also opened a probe into a 42-year-old manager of the firm based in southwest Germany. Separately, Hungarian authorities are investigating a 37-year-old chief of a Hungarian pharma company. Other suspects and witnesses have also been detained in coordinated raids, said police in the German state of Brandenburg. German prosecutors are currently investigating a suspected advertising fraud in addition to the violation of medication laws.
No health threat?
In their statement, police said the German manager had been circulating “forged oncological medication” since early 2018. However, while the investigators detected that the packages and accompanying instructions were forged, it was not immediately clear if the content itself was forged, they added.
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The company producing the original medication did not find “significant differences from the original,” Brandenburg officials said.
“A concrete health threat for the patients in Brandenburg has not yet been determined,” they added.
Police also seized numerous documents and electronic data during the investigation.
The officials were first alerted about possible wrongdoing by another wholesale company. The Brandenburg-based firm detected inconsistencies while its employees inspected incoming goods. They subsequently alerted Brandenburg officials who, in turn, stopped the distribution of the batch in Germany and Europe.
The investigation comes just months after another German pharmacist was sentenced to 12 years for diluting cancer medicine.