24 July 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Merck, Novartis, Roche and Sanofi in China are said to have used the same travel agency for work related arrangements that was involved in nailing down the GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal
Singapore: An probe into the activities of Shanghai Linjiang International Travel Agency in China by the investigators led them to the grand bribery scandal involving GlaxoSmithKline a few weeks back.
As per a report published by The New York Times, the publication claims to be in possession of documents that show that in the last three years, at least six other major global pharma companies used the same travel agency to make arrangements for events.
Chinese investigators revealed post the probe that the travel agency appeared to be using fake contracts and travel invoices to help executives at the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline bribe doctors, hospitals, foundations and government officials.
Now there's proof that companies like Merck, Novartis, Roche and Sanofi too used the same travel agency to make invoices for hotel bookings, travel visas and airline tickets to Chinese cities, and to Australia, Italy, Japan, Korea and the US. One of the drug companies appears to have used the travel agency to make a $2,500 grant to the Cancer Foundation of China, the news report said.
It however pointed out that the documents contain no indication of wrongdoing, but suggests that big drug makers too could come under scrutiny as the Chinese government widens its probe into fraud for pharmaceutical products.