BUKO Pharma-Kampagne mainly works in Germany. Therefore only some of our publications are available in English.

Antibiotic resistance: a global challenge

Antibiotics have been a blessing for medicine. Their discovery meant that infections which had previously caused great suffering and many deaths could now be treated. But the situation is changing dramatically, with ever more bacteria becoming resistant to an increasing number of active agents used in antibiotics. Each year tens of thousands of people die worldwide as a result of multiresistand microbes. And resistance does not stop at national borders: it develops anywhere and can spread anywhere.
This is why any attempts to resolve the problem of resistance must be as global as its causes. The slogan 'One Health' must be understood in the broadest terms: the Global North and Global South, human and veterinary medicine, and both social components and technical solutions must be taken into consideration.

Download brochure: Antibiotic resistance: a global challenge [PDF/mB]


Poor and forgotten -
Examination of the business behaviour of Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer and Baxter in Uganda
BUKO Pharma-Kampagne and HEPS Uganda have scrutinised the business behaviour of the pharma companies Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Baxter in Uganda. The conclusion: The brand manufacturers have no or only little interest in supplying a country without solvent patients with drugs or in getting involved in research there. While Baxter has already given up on the Ugandan market, Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to retreat. Only Bayer carries on selling drugs in Uganda – among them several hormone preparations and contraceptives, some of them of rather dubious benefit. This study presents valid facts and analyses concerning Uganda and raises important questions actors and deciders in development and health policy have to face: For instance, how can you fill gaps in supply while the free market fails? How can you consolidate local production? And last but not least – are development aid funds – for instance the Contraceptive-Security-Initiative or the Jadelle-Access-Programme in favour of Bayer – a reasonable stimulus to induce pharma companies to engage in neglected markets, e.g. in Uganda?

Download: Brochure [PDF/2,1 mB]

At the expense of the poor? -
Examination of the business behaviour of Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer and Baxter in Brazil

BUKO Pharma-Kampagne has carefully examined the business behaviour of Bayer Health Care, Boehringer Ingelheim and Baxter in Brazil. Our conclusions: whereas Baxter´s portfolio exclusively comprises rational drugs, the manufacturers Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim sell quite a number of nonsensical preparations. Even the majority of the blockbusters declared inventive do not offer advantageous treatment for the patients. They are unaffordably expensive and waste scarce resources. The examined companies conduct a large number of research projects in Brazil. Those are focused on lucrative fields such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes - diseases which are increasingly common in Brazil. For neglected diseases, which are also still common in Brazil, the companies don´t show much committment.
The study was conducted with the financial assistance of the Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung NRW.

Download: Brochure [PDF/2,0 mB]

At any price? - Examination of the business behaviour of Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer
and Baxter in India

BUKO Pharma-Kampagne and the Institute of Public Health Bangalore/ India have made a survey of the business behaviour of Bayer Health Care, Boehringer Ingelheim and Baxter in India. The results: these companies sell many irrational preparations and offer only few essential innovations. Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim conduct numerous clinical trials in India, but they prefer to search for new applications of their blockbusters instead of doing research in the field of neglected diseases. Especially Boehringer Ingelheim has a poor pharmaceutical portfolio with 70% of irrational drugs and no essential preparation. Other topics of the survey focus on patent policies and marketing practices.

The study was conducted with the  financial assistance of the Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung NRW.

Download Brochure [PDF/ 1,5MB]
The study is also available in German.Go to German website.

Update 26.9.2012: Boehringer reacts

Malaria -
From the heart of Europe to the Tropics

Malaria is considered to be a tropical disease today. In earlier days, however, it also caused much suffering here in Europe. The marshes and moors of Northern Germany had been dreaded malaria-infested regions up to the 19th century. During the epidemic in 1826, every second child is said to have been infected with the marsh fever. Similarly, outbreaks of malaria were quite frequent at the Upper Rhine. Fortunately, this is a thing of the past. On the southern hemisphere though, malaria is still harsh reality even today. Almost one million people die of a fatal mosquito bite each year, every 30 seconds a child dies. That is reason enough to take a look at the disease.

This Pharma-Brief Special gives information on prevention, therapy and supply problems, provides the background on current research projects and describes the history of malaria between colonial politics and military interests.

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2010, 28 pages; ISBN-13: 978-3-928879-35-4;   € 5.00

Normalization in the North, Tragedy in the South? 

Whereas HIV/Aids is regarded as a controllable chronic disease in the western world - not the least because of the availability of effective medication -, the situation for large parts of the world´s population is dramatic: In Africa, south of the Sahara, 23 million people are infected, among them about two million children. However, the infection figures are also on the rise in Eastern Europe.
This brochure does not only give you recent figures and facts concerning the worldwide spread of HIV. Is also summarizes the latest developments in the fields of HIV-prevention, therapy and research. Interview with experts on the situations in India, South Africa, Germany and the Ukaine present first-hand information and illustrate the problems encountered in prevention work or as regards access to effective therapies.

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2009, 30 pages; ISBN 978-3-928879-34-7;   € 5.00


Medical research: Science in the public interest 
"Equitable licenses" for the results of publicly sponsored medical research

Public funding often plays a key role in research and development (R & D) of new medicines. But such innovative drugs are often not affordable for people in poor countries. How can access to these publicly-funded innovations be secured for as many people as possible? How can we in particular improve access to medicine for people in developing countries? One possible solution for this challenge could come with the concept of "Equitable Licensing". Equitable licenses, examples of which have been developed by legal experts and universities in the USA, are specific licenses for the technology transfer between public institutions and the pharmaceutical industry.
This brochure presents background information about challenges in the drug supply in poor countries. Numerous case studies show the US experience with new licensing models and highlight possible approaches for the specific German setting.
Editor: BUKO Pharma-Kampagne (Bielefeld), Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin and the Center for European Law Politics / University of Bremen with financial support by Volkswagen Foundation.
Download here ... or order.
2009, 32 pages, ISBN 978-3-928879-33-0       € 5.00

Tuberculosis - A social disease

Tuberculosis, alongside leprosy, is probably the world´s oldest infectious disease. It has accompanied humanity for thousands of years, damning its victims to certain death. With the introduction of antibiotic therapy about 70 years ago, it was believed that tuberculosis, this old enemy of humankind, was finally conquered. Today the disease can be cured in most cases. But still many patients in poor countries are not being treated appropriately or they are not receiving any treatment at all. Not only financial problems are to blame for this health crisis, but also cultural and social reasons as well as a lack of information.

The present booklet examines tuberculosis as a social disease around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and today. In order to understand the nature of tuberculosis and in order to be able to fight it effectively, it is important then, as it is now, to observe the disease in its social dimension. Here there are some astonishing parallels which can be drawn; the situation of sick people in Germany around 100 years ago in some ways resembles the life of patients in poor countries today.
The conclusion: the fight against poverty, political strategies, better chances for education and equal rights for men and women are as urgent in the fight against TB as appropriate and affordable therapies.

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2008, 24 pages, ISBN 978-3-928879-31-6        € 5.00


Relevant health information for empowered citizens.

Health information is indispensable for maintaining and recovering good health, both for the individual and society as a whole. But what is the best way to find orientation in health matters? Many citizens are concerned with this subject, but in the political context it is often missed out on. In the light of the pharamceutical industry´s efforts to change regulatory requirements for information on health, diesases and drugs in their favour, it is high time that clear criteria for good health information are broght into the public debate. This is what has been done by a league of independent groups from Europe.
For many years now, the BUKO Pharma-Kampagne has stood up for non-partisan patient information. BUKO is a co-founder of Health Action International (HAI) and member of the International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB), as well as of the Medicines in Europe Forum (MiEF). The focus of BUKO Pharma-Kampagne´s work is the impact of European health policy on health systems in developing countries. The reprint at hand contributs to the important debate about the value of independent health information.

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2008, 12 pages, ISBN 978-3-938879-32-3;          € 5.00

Tuberculosis - A global threat.

Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common infectious disease in the world. One third of the world population - around two billion people - carry the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Only 5-10% of those will ever become ill. Poverty, bad living conditions and malnutrition are the key factors and the main course for the spread of the disease. People from Asia, Africa and the Middle East have the highest risk to get TB.


  • Suffering from consumption
  • Poverty is causing illness - everywhere
  • The fight against resistance
  • TB and Aids - a lethal combination
  • Money makes the world go round
  • Drug research as public good
  • Combating poverty is active health policy

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2007, 23 pages, ISBN-10: 3-928879-30-8; ISBN-13: 978-3-928879-30-9;     € 5.00

Counterfeit medicines - what are the problems?
Reports on counterfeit drugs are mushrooming. How frequent are fake drugs in reality and which health risks do they mean for people in developing and industrialized countries? What is at stake and what are sustainable solutions?
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2007, 12 pages                                     € 1.50

Drug research - Science in the public interest?

Drugs should be a blessing to mankind. But does drug research come up to its
own expectations? The world needs science in the human interest.
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2005, 20 pages                                     € 1.50

Data and Facts 2004: German drugs in the Third World.

This is the fourth study of Pharma-Kampagne about the quality of German drugs in poor countries. The survey includes an evaluation of more than 2500 drugs sold in 46 countries. The results are presented in many graphs and tables. A list of all drugs is included. A Spanish version and a summary in Portugese is also available (see below)
2004, 56 pages, ISBN 3-928879-25-1,     € 2.00

Also available as download: Data and Facts: German drugs in the Third World [PDF 1,4 MB]

[Spanish] Medicamentos alemanes en prueba
Las firmas farmacéuticas alemanas son las que ofrecen mayor cantidad de medicamentos en el Tercer Mundo y están orgullosas de su fama. El estudio de medicamentos de la BUKO- Pharma Kampagne relativiza la imagen positiva de las mismas. Por cuarta vez investigamos la oferta de medicamentos alemanes en los países del sur. Fácit: de 2.534 medicamentos valorizados, reciben la nota de “irracionales” el 39%, según criterios clínico-farmacológicos. Data y hechos 2004: medicamentos alemanes en el Tercer Mundo [PDF/ 854 kB]

[Portugese] Negócios lucrativos: medicamentos alemães no 30 mundo
Versão reduzida para o Brasil do estudo da BUKO-Pharma-Kampagne "Sprudelnde Geschäfte: Deutsche Medikamente in der 3. Welt” Negócios lucrativos: medicamentos alemães no 3o mundo [PDF/ 257 kB]

No life without pills? - The medicalisation of daily life
This case study looks into the problems pharmaceuticals in Germany and their effects on the countries of the south. Taking pills has become an integral part of life for a great number of people in many countries. And it is not just old and ill people who consider taking pills part of their normal daily routine, but more and mor healthy individuals, among them particularly young people. Food supplements, pills which claim to threnghten the immune system and performance-promoting tablets are nowadays not only sold in pharmacies, but increasingly in supermarkets as well. Pharmaceuticals have become a new society drug. There is however, hardly any problem awareness as with other habits like alcohol or nicotine. What is behind this?
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1/2002, 16 pages                                                  € 1.50

Dialogue or Engineering of consent? - Opportunities and risks of talking to industry

Large corporations increasingly meet with criticism that their business activities harm people and the environment. Citizen groups all over the world have been requesting them to account for their practices concerning workers, consumers and the wider community in which they operate. This has often caused heated controversies.
For a while corporations have altered their reactions. While earlier treating their critics harshly they now try to involve critical groups into a 'dialogue'. But what does this mean? Have large corporations undergone a remarkable conversion and, if so, in which direction are they going? Or are we facing an industry´s strategy to defeat questionable marketing practices?
This booklet supports interested groups in weighing the pros and cons of talking to the industry.

Also available in German.

2002, 24 pages, € 1.00

Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising - The European Commission´s Proposals for Legislative Change
The European Union currently forbids advertising of prescription drugs to the public, as do all other countreis except the United States and New Zealand. This restriction on advertising is part of the protection offered to the public by prescription-only status. Last July, the Commission announced a proposal to change the law to allow advertising of prescription drugs to treat Aids, diabetes and asthma.
What willt hese changes mean for public health, for sustainability of national health care services, and for consumer and patient information rights?
This paper discusses the proposed changes, reviews the main evidence on effects of DTC advertising in the US and New Zealand, and concludes with recommendations.

12/2001, 10 pages,
Download here: DTCA [PDF/178kB]

Undermining scientific standards: WHO´s Pharmaceutical Newsletter and Dipyrone

For the first time in its history the scientific journal of the World Health Organization WHO Pharmaceutical Newsletter has published a dubious article white-washing the controversial painkiller dipyrone. This incident raises a number of questions related to the scientific credibility of the WHO. How are articles for the newsletter selected? What about peer review? How far does the influence of the pharmaceutical industry reach into the United Nations system?
Peter S. Schönhöfer, MD, Professor (em.) of Clinical Pharmacology, laureate of the Integrity Award of Tranparency International 2002, who was involved in the regulation of dipyrone, shows that this example could serve as a model for the issues that need to be addressed, e.g. independent review of articles, prevention of commercial influence etc.

2/2002, 4 pages,           € 1.50

Trading with health - Hoechst and Merck under the microscope

A few international companies are in firm control of the pharmaceutical market in the Third World nowadays. Among them are the German pharma giants, Hoechst Marion Roussel (Aventis) and Merck. Yet, their product ranges do not fulfil the people´s needs. While much money is made with unneeded products, life-saving drugs for the most important diseases are unavailable. Desire for profits restricts research and in some cases the production of urgently needed drugs is even closed down. This prompted the Pharma Campaign to examine the business with health critically.

2000, 8 pages
Download: Trading with health [PDF/294kB]

Drugs "Made in Germany" - Not always safe - The effectiveness of the German drug export control

The BUKO Pharma Campaign has carried out research to evaluate the effectiveness of the German export control provisions and the way in which the authorities and customs offices implement them. It identifies the loopholes in the law that can be exploited by exporting companies, and shows that the current controls are inadequate in various ways. The research indicates that these problems have to be solved urgently.

1/1999, 8 pages, 
Download: Drugs "Made in Germany" - Not always safe [PDF/852kB]

Dipyrone - a drug no one needs

A survey of commercial prescribing guides in 12 areas of the world showed that in 1987-8, out of 1739 analgesics marketed 26% contained dipyrone. In fact dipyrone was the second most frequently used ingredient after paracetamol. It might be assumed that the safety of such a drug was well established but this is not the case. On the contrary there is a clearly proven link between dipyrone use and serious adverse effects including agranulocytosis and shock. Dipyrone has no therapeutic advantages over other, much safer, analgesics. It is an unacceptably dangerous drug which we do not need.
The document is published by BUKO Pharma-Campaign and HAl-Europe as part of their campaign for rational drug use. It contains the following three sections:
1) A review of dipyrone;
2) A survey of dipyrone-containing products from 12 areas of the world;
3) An annotated bibliography of original articles, reports and reviews on

Download here... or order.
1993, 24 pages

Primary Health Care and Drugs

Global Action Towards Rational Drug Use
Documentation of a conference on Primary Health Care by BUKO Pharma-Kampagne. How is the current situation? What makes implementation so difficult? How can medicines be incluced in the best way?
1991, 168 pages, englisch, ISBN 3-928879-08-1,   € 1.00

Information in German

For further information in German and Spanish click here
The Pharma-Brief (in German only) appears at regular intervals

How to order

BUKO Pharma-Kampagne, August-Bebel-Str. 62, D-33602 Bielefeld, Germany
Phone +49-521-60550, Fax +49-521-63789, e-mail:

5 € will be added for postage and handling charges