Friday, 24 January 2014

Abbott the latest pharma company to be accused of bribing doctors in China

The US pharma company Abbott has launched an internal investigation after being accused of paying bribes to doctors in China in relation to its nutrition products.
A report in the 21st Century Business Herald says Abbott has been channeling 8-10% of its sales revenue to give to doctors. The claims come from a 'deep throat' source who says the payments to doctors are to promote the use of Abbott Nutrition products. The source also claims that Abbott is working outside the usual hospital products  buying and selling system.
The company has responded by saying it was not aware of any such behaviour, which would be a violation of its own strict code of conduct. Abbott said it was now investigating the claims.
The report says the behaviour was encouraged by Abbott managers in 2012, and the bribery was disguised by being channeled through meal expenses and conference expenses. Larger payments were made through bogus travel agencies for meetings. The report says company representatives also bypassed the usual hospital buying system to provide products direct  via an agency, which meant that doctors could earn larger commissions from sales.
The report says many of the practices exposed were normal for the pharmaceutical industry and the government is now cracking down n these methods, as seen by the investigation into GSK.

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