First GSK, now China focuses investigations on Sanofi

August 10
11:20 AM 2013

Xinhua news agency reported that Chinese authorities were now focusing their bribery investigations on pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. Staff of the French drug manufacturer allegedly paid more than CNY 1.7 million back in 2007 to 503 different doctors to increase its sales in the country. The physicians worked in 79 hospitals throughout Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou. An anonymous source gave the information to the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper.

British manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline was the first pharmaceutical company to be investigated in the mainland over allegations of bribery and overpricing. In a statement, Sanofi said it was taking the allegations very seriously but stressed that commenting on events which happened back in 2007 would be premature. The French drugmaker also said it does not tolerate unethical practices.

As the investigations widen to include the rest of the pharmaceutical industry, analysts said this could result to more stringent price controls. Should that happen, annual growth in drug sales could be cut in half, dropping to as much as 10%.

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