In Brief: Pharmacies barred from giving small gifts to customers buying prescription drugs, and more headlines

The Federal Supreme Court rules in an anti-competition lawsuit against a number of pharmacies, new report finds low rates of plastic recycling in Germany. Find out more in your KCRW Berlin News Brief.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash


Germany’s Federal Supreme Court has ruled that pharmacies are not allowed to give small gifts or vouchers to people buying prescription medicine.

A lawsuit had been filed by Die Wettbewerbszentrale, a self-regulatory institution, against a pharmacy in Spandau, among others, where customers had been receiving one-euro vouchers for buying prescription medicine.

The cost of prescription medicine is fixed across Germany, so the court found these kinds of vouchers were undermining price regulations.

These types of small gifts are still allowed when making other purchases at pharmacies.


Only about 16% of plastic waste is reused in Germany for new products. That’s according to a new publication from the German Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation.

The rest typically ends up in incinerators or is shipped off to other countries.

It’s estimated that 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide between 1950 and 2015.

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