Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-05-28
|GlaxoSmithKline's offices in Tianjin. (File photo/Xinhua)|
A foreign pharmaceutical firm was reportedly raided by the police this month while three others were allegedly caught paying kickbacks.
On May 21, the office of Swiss global healthcare company F Hoffmann-La Roche was reportedly raided by police authorities in Hangzhou and computer drives and documents were taken by the police for investigation, according to the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald.
Roche said in a statement that the company had learnt about the local police visit from its Hangzhou office and that the details remained unclear but it would fully cooperate with the government agency's procedure.
Roche's Nanjing office was also reportedly being investigated by local authorities but the company denied such rumors.
During the same week, the Health and Family Planning Commission of Zhejiang province issued a notice aimed at correcting the misconduct of pharmaceutical companies.
US global pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company, Swedish-British multinational AstraZeneca Plc and Danish firm Novo Nordisk were allegedly found guilty of paying kickbacks.
When the GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal stormed the foreign-invested pharmaceutical sector in 2013, sales staff from Eli Lilly and Company, AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk were put under investigation, but the three companies said it was only for a regular checkup.
In a report by the paper in August last year, a former executive from Eli Lilly and Company was cited as saying that the company had spent at least 30 million yuan (US$4.8 million) a year on bribing physicians to prescribe the company's two insulin medications.
In July last year, AstraZeneca, the second-largest drugmaker in the United Kingdom, confirmed that one of its salespeople in China had been taken into custody on suspicion of corruption.
Sun Xiaoyun, an executive from AstraZeneca's business in China, said in a statement that the company had not received any clear information from government agencies in terms of the investigation, so it could not comment on the matter for the time being.
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