Peter Schönhöfer: Pharmacologist - Germany (Integrity Award)

Filed under - Whistleblowing

Received the Award on 11 October 2002

award winner image

"The pharmaceutical industry is aggressively marketing its products through doctors, whom many companies bribe with gifts and so-called favours in order to exert control over them."
Peter Schönhöfer, TI Integrity Awards winner 2002

Dr Peter Schönhöfer, 67, has been a critic of the corrupt practices of some pharmaceutical companies for more than two decades. Taking on the powerful industry required nerves of steel as well as painstaking research. "Of course it was risky," he recalls. "The companies always sue for so much in damages that losing a single case would have meant instant ruin for me." Schönhöfer would have had to pay the damages out of his own pocket, but in the end he always came out on top in court.

Putting profits above patients has dire effects, the professor warns. "We can observe roughly a 150-fold increase in the costs of chemotherapy in solid cancers over the past 30 years, but no significant gain in average life expectancy of more than a single week," he explains. "It is necessary to uncover these corrupting structures and strategies in order to keep our health care systems functioning."

Schönhöfer is not about to rest on his laurels. He is willing to risk it all again if that is the price for speaking the truth. "There remains much to do," he said on accepting the Integrity Award. His antagonists will have read this as a quiet warning. They have learnt the hard way that this quietly spoken academic carries a big stick.

Country / Territory - Germany   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Whistleblowing   
Tags - Video   |   Pharmaceuticals   |   chemotherapy   |   academic carries   |   Doctors   |   Healthcare   |   Health procurement   |   Favours   |   Bremen   

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