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China investigates drugs firm Sanofi for 'bribing doctors'

By Tim Sandle     Aug 18, 2013 in Business
Authorities in China are looking into the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi's activities, following on from bribery accusations dating back to 2007.
The news that Chinese authorities are concerned about money being paid to medics to purchase certain drug products follows on from the story run on the Digital Journal where the 'Big Pharma' company GSK was accused (and subsequently admitted) of bribing to government officials, doctors, hospitals and industry associations using travel agencies as conduits for the cash in China. The later investigation also showed that sexual favors were offered as bribes.
With the new development, according to a report published in the 21st Century Business Herald (and report by the South China Morning Post), that representatives of the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi bribed more than 500 doctors to prescribe their patients with Sanofi medicines. These payments are said to have totaled almost $275,000 and Sanofi is accused of disguising them as research program grants.
The reports in the Chinese press suggest that six years ago doctors were paid about $13 on every occasion that a successful drug sale was made off the back of a prescription. In one instance, a payment of almost $2,000 was made. This claim comes from documents allegedly supplied by a former Sanofi employee.
Further to the running investigation, the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials from China's Administration for Industry and Commerce visited a regional office of Sanofi in northern Shenyang city earlier this month and took away documents.
According to the New York Times, Sanofi has said it took the claim “very seriously” and had started to investigate the allegations.
More about Sanofi, China, GSK, Bribes, Medics
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