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Bribery increases drug prices by 20%: expert

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-30 10:24

BEIJING - Twenty percent of the cost of a typical Chinese medication is spent on bribery related to medicine purchases and sales, an industry expert was quoted as saying in a Monday report.

Yu Mingde, chief of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Enterprises Association, said sales expenses generally account for 30 to 40 percent of total medicine prices, including reasonable expenditures and illegal disbursements, according to a report in the Monday edition of the China Youth Daily.

Reasonable expenditures include salaries and travel expenses for salesmen, as well as incidental expenses.

Multiple cases of bribery in the medical industry have been uncovered since early July.

On July 11, the Ministry of Public Security announced that some employees at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) China are being investigated for suspected bribery and tax-related violations.

Other individuals involved in the case, including salesmen and doctors, are also under investigation.

In order to eradicate corruption in the medical industry, Yu said that a sound market system should be set up to generate competition among hospitals.

He also called for punishing defaulters more harshly and encouraging hospitals to take advanced steps in medical reform.

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