China probes French drugmaker Sanofi for alleged bribery
BEIJING (AP/Reuters) - China has started investigating French drugmaker Sanofi for allegedly bribing more than 500 Chinese doctors with about 1.7 million yuan (S$351,000) of payments to raise sales, China's Xinhua state news agency said.
Xinhua on Saturday cited a Health Bureau official as saying the team investigating Sanofi would include corruption officials and the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, and it would look for clinical research programmes with lists of patient names and medical reports.
Sanofi said this week it took "very seriously" allegations published in a Chinese newspaper on Thursday that its staff bribed more than 500 doctors in China in 2007 to raise sales.
An anonymous whistleblower told the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper that Sanofi staff paid bribes totalling about 1.7 million yuan to 503 doctors at 79 hospitals in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou in late 2007.