Berlin (VFA). On September 17, 2008, the German Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA) was the first pharmaceutical association in Europe to enter the voluntary Register of Interest Representatives with the European Commission.

"In a pluralist society with countless – partly conflicting – interests, it is not just legitimate but also necessary to voice one's interests," Cornelia Yzer, director general of the VFA, said in Berlin. "Nevertheless, lobbying needs clear rules and limits. Those who want something must say who they are and where they come from. In this respect, the lobby register of the European Commission represents a good opportunity to disclose one's activities and to eliminate the reputation of backroom lobbyism from interest representation."

Yzer stressed that she also considers such a register inevitable for Germany: "Politicians need experts from the fields of business and society. Increasingly complex decisions require the best possible expertise from all parties involved." However, this is only possible if an organization's concerns can be discussed openly and transparently.

The German Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA) is the trade association of the research-based pharmaceutical companies in Germany. It represents the interests of 43 globally leading research-based pharmaceutical companies and more than 100 subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the areas of health, research and economic policy. The VFA member companies make up about two-thirds of the German pharmaceutical market and employ nearly 78,000 people in Germany, including more than 18,000 in research and development. The VFA's press conferences – now available on the Internet. For more information, please visit:

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Jochen Stemmler
Phone: +49 30 20604-203
Fax: +49 30 20604-209