Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to take action on risky naturopathic methods. Like the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" ("SZ") report and the North German Broadcasting Corporation (NDR), citing government circles, the related draft bill is in process.
In particular, it's about what is called fresh cell therapy. Patients receive extracts from the organs of sheep and other animals. They are used as "anti-aging drugs" or to "strengthen the immune system" and are designed to help fight diseases such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. With such promises private clinics attract some seriously ill people from all over the world.
But fresh cells are not only useless according to the current state of research, they are also dangerous. For example, in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 2014, several patients and hospital employees were infected with highly contagious sheep Q disease. Can cause pneumonia, inflammation of the heart muscle and even death.
Prohibition efforts failed for years
Fresh cell therapy has been banned in almost every country in the world for years. The Federal Drug Institute also came to the conclusion that it was dangerous, as did the Paul Ehrlich Institute. However, efforts to ban failed in the Federal Republic for years. The reason for this is called the "SZ" economic motive. In some states, one does not want to do it without private clinics and their customers from all over the world.
The Spahn Ministry also plans that non-medical practitioners can produce drugs only in exceptional cases. For drug law, it must be changed. So far, this is possible for members of the non-medical health profession. However, people have been repeatedly threatened by therapy with questionable drugs.
Again and again, health professionals depend on good freedom from therapy, said Gerd Glaeske, Professor of drug safety at the University of Bremen, "Süddeutsche Zeitung". "But if freedom of therapy is confused with arbitrariness and dubious procedures, then they have lost that right."