German cops launch Aids medicine probe

Berlin – German federal police said yesterday they had launched a probe into several pharmaceutical distributors suspected of importing cheap Aids vaccines from Africa and selling them at inflated prices.

The German radio station NDR said the vaccines under investigation came from South Africa, via Belgium and Switzerland, to Germany, where they were allegedly repacked and sold.

The scam was reportedly worth tens of million of euros.

“The medicine was supposed to go to aid organisations to treat HIV-positive patients in South Africa,” said Oliver Giebel, a spokesperson for AOK, a health-insurance firm.

The German Aids group (DAH) said it was furious at the accusations, stressing that HIV-positive people would have been deprived of crucial medicine.

“If vaccines from southern Africa have really ended up on the German market, this shows the criminal intent of the perpetrators,” said Winfried Holz from the DAH.

According to NDR, the alleged fraud came to light when a patient bought a medicine packet which proved empty.

A subsequent investigation showed both the packaging and the instruction had been faked.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7786 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 8939 votes
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo