Whistle-blower in China accuses Sanofi of bribing doctors

Aug. 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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BEIJING, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A whistle-blower in China said that French pharmaceutical company Sanofi had in years past provided bribes to doctors for writing scripts for Sanofi products.

The whistle-blower's name has been kept under wraps, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

The allegations, however, were reported by the 21st Century Business Herald, a newspaper that reported it had four documents backing up the whistle-blower's claim.

The documents said the bribes were made to doctors in 79 hospitals, most of them in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.

Reportedly, the payments were made six years ago and totaled $374,000. They were recorded as "research expenses," Radio France Internationale reported.

The French multinational said it "has established processes in place for reviewing and addressing such issues in a manner that is consistent with our legal and ethical obligations."

Sanofi also said it taking the accusations "very seriously."

Chinese authorities said they were conducting an extensive investigation of drug pricing. The investigation involves 60 foreign and domestic companies, an official said.

In July, authorities in China arrested four GlaxoSmithKline executives for allegedly bribing doctors to write scripts for their products.

Doctors writing prescriptions for Sanofi products were paid $17 for each sale, Radio France Internationale reported.

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