Updated on 4 September 2013
The Ministry of Public Security in China has revealed on their website that the drug maker had ‘indulged’ in the bribery of doctors – or at least ‘given tacit permission’ saying that individual employees were responsible for transgressions
Singapore: With further revelations being made by the Chinese police in the GlaxoSmithKline China bribery scandal, experts are now calling for stricter reforms in public hospitals. They are further demanding more legislation in the pharmaceutical industry, after a slew of more shocking revelations came out in the suspected financial violations case against GSK.
The Ministry of Public Security in China has revealed on their website that the drug maker had ‘indulged' in the bribery of doctors, or at least ‘given tacit permission' saying that individual employees were responsible for transgressions.
It was revealed that GSK, which has been under investigation since July this year for suspected bribery and tax-related violations, had expanded a sales team covering the company's major customers from less than 10 members to more than 50 over the past five years. This team was allocated almost $1.63 million (10 million yuan) of ‘public relations funds' that was allegedly used to maintain close ties with key staff members in charge of the allocation of drugs in major hospitals, to ensure that GSK products would be prescribed by doctors.
Chinese authorities earlier detained four Chinese GSK executives on allegations that they paid close to $490 million in bribes through travel agencies to hospital officials and doctors in an effort to boost sales of pharmaceutical products.
Experts have suggested that such practices are common among domestic pharmaceutical companies as well. "Underlying the bribery of doctors is a lack of regulation to provide clear rules on communications and transactions between drug makers, hospitals and doctors," said Mr Wang Yaoguang, director, pharmaceutical law institute, Tsinghua University.