• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 3:27am

German drug giant Bayer latest target of graft probe

Mainland investigators also contact firms from US, Britain, France, Denmark and Belgium

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 9:50pm

The German pharmaceutical firm Bayer is the latest target of the mainland's ongoing investigation into malpractice in the pharmaceutical industry.

The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce contacted a Bayer office on the mainland in relation to an investigation into anti-trust offences, Bayer's spokesman Guenter Forneck told the South China Morning Post in an e-mailed statement.

"We assume that this contact is related to a wider investigation into the pharmaceutical industry in China," he wrote.

The German company is the latest pharmaceutical giant to be drawn into an investigation that first came to light two months ago when police in Changsha, Hunan province, began an investigation into alleged "economic crimes" by employees of the British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline.

US firm Eli Lilly, the French firm Sanofi, the Danish firms Novo Nordisk and H. Lundbeck, the British firm AstraZeneca and the Belgian firm UCB have also said that they were contacted by investigators.

In July, the National Development and Reform Commission said it was extending its investigation to cover 60 international and domestic drugmakers.

Mainland health officials say rampant corruption in the health sector is driving up costs for patients. The investigation is aimed at cracking down on illegal practices among suppliers of pharmaceutical products on the mainland as part of a wider series of measures aimed at reforming the struggling public health care system.

Bayer said it was co-operating with the mainland authorities in the investigation. The company had strict compliance regulations in place and encouraged its employees to report violations, it said, adding that it would look into allegations of misconduct.

China is increasingly important to the firm, making up 19.5 per cent of its total global revenue in the last fiscal year.

Last week the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China's pharmaceutical working group called the industry-wide probe "unfair".



More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Damn if you do, and damn if you don't! Unless, one adhere to the entrenched practice of bribery and kick-backs, one is effectively locked out of the Chinese market. Political winds shifted, and foreign pharmaceutical companies and other MNCs are now targeted of economic crimes and other malfeasance endemic within the Chinese economy and marketplace. Chinese regulators routinely get a cut of the pie as well, and these connections reach all the way to the top echelon of the Communist Party. Why not expose fully and openly the scale, scope and depth of systematic corruption, unlawful administration and elite cronyism pervasive throughout China over the past 20 years+. Only a popular revolt can lead to substantive change. Selective targeting of foreign companies while turning a blind eye to the much bigger problem of corruption and tyranny is nonsensical. Let the revolution begin!


SCMP.com Account