After a long-running feud between Germany's drug companies and their senior government regulator, today the drug companies have landed on top -- and the regulator, Peter Sawicki, is out of a job.
The official reason given for the dismissal is failure to obtain written clearance for leasing cars for personal use.
Sawicki is the founding director of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, which decides which treatments are covered by Germany's publicly funded insurance plans. To be covered, the new treatment must prove to have advantages over the current standard of care.
Gretchen Vogel gives the history in this week's Science, published before the ouster was announced:
Sawicki's supporters say the move would endanger the institute's reputation for impartial and rigorous science, and earlier this month a petition signed by 600 doctors and clinical researchers called on the health minister and the board to keep Sawicki on.
More details are at Der Spiegel (in German).
Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography