Novartis probes corruption claims in Chinese press

September 18, 2013

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced Tuesday it has opened an internal inquiry following Chinese press accusations of corruption at its Alcon eye care division.

"Alcon does not tolerate activities that are not in compliance with the laws and regulations in the markets where we operate," Novartis said in a statement.

"When any inappropriate activities are identified, we take swift remedial action," it added.

The Chinese daily 21st Century Business Herald reported that Alcon offered bribes to doctors at more than 200 hospitals in China via an intermediary.

The paper, citing a whistleblower it called "Zorro", said Alcon offered the doctors "research funding" for completing market surveys that never took place.

Novartis said it would take swift corrective measures if any inappropriate behaviour is identified.

China is mounting a sweeping probe into foreign pharmaceutical firms, accusing some of abusing their monopoly positions to boost prices unfairly.

German Bayer confirmed Friday that Chinese authorities had visited one of its offices last month in connection with a potential case of "unfair competition".

Chinese police are also investigating Britain's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over allegations that employees gave bribes to sell its products.

Authorities have detained at least four GSK executives in the case, while state media have alleged the firm was responsible and not just individual employees.

French manufacturer Dumex promised on Monday to investigate allegations that its staff bribed Chinese hospital officials to provide its products to newborns.

In August, Beijing city health and corruption officials launched an investigation into allegations that staff at French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi bribed more than 500 Chinese doctors a total of about $280,000, according to state media.

Explore further: Chinese police say Glaxo employees bribed doctors

Related Stories

Chinese police say Glaxo employees bribed doctors

July 11, 2013
China's police ministry accused executives of pharmaceutical supplier GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday of conducting a large and long-running bribery campaign to persuade doctors to prescribe drugs.

China government to probe 60 firms over drug prices

July 4, 2013
China's top economic planner is to investigate 60 pharmaceutical companies for excessive charges, including several joint ventures with foreign firms, state media reported Thursday.

China launches crackdown on drug industry

July 17, 2013
(AP)—China announced a crackdown Wednesday on misconduct in its drug market, stepping up pressure on the problem-prone industry while it pursues a bribery investigation of GlaxoSmithKline.

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.