Home / China / China

Shanghai takes aim at medical bribery

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-18 08:08

Companies offering benefits, people who take them subject to penalties

Shanghai has introduced a new regulation to crack down on bribes offered by commercial entities to doctors and other medical workers in pursuit of sales of drugs and medical equipment.

The regulation, introduced by the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission, took effect on Friday. It stipulates that any medical worker who accepts a bribe totaling 5,000 yuan ($760) or above, or accepts bribes on more than two occasions, or who asks for a bribe, will face dismissal and administrative penalties, such as revocation of professional certificates.

Accepting a low bribe even once can result in the loss of eligibility for promotion.

At the same time, the Shanghai regulation hits companies that offer bribes. Even one bribe offered in Shanghai, or two or more bribes anywhere in the country, can result in a ban on the sale of all of that company's products for two years.

The regulation also says that illegitimate benefits from drug companies, either in the form of cash, gift cards, coupons or entertainment such as travel, are also classed as bribes and are not allowed.

It also states that directors of departments involved in bribery cases will also be held accountable and face punishment ranging from public exposure for their dereliction of duty to position adjustment.

The city's health commission also urged medical institutions to keep a record of commercial bribery in the field of drug and medical equipment procurement.

Wu Tianbing, a doctor for nearly 20 years, said the regulation was "an effective step forward in the industry for both medical staff and pharmaceutical corporations to regulate behavior".

"Compared with previous stipulations, the new one is more specific to guide medical workers to set strict demands on themselves," Wu said.

Xu Qian, an endocrinologist, applauded the new regulation, but also suggested greater efforts were needed to root out commercial bribery in the industry.

"Reasonable income distribution, effective supervision and financial support from government to the medical sector are all essential to tackle the issue and to promote a healthy medical industry," she said.

China has intensified regulations on commercial bribery in the medical field in recent years. In 2014, a Chinese court found pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline guilty of bribing doctors and hospitals in order to increase sales of the company's products in China.

Among other things, the company was charged with using travel agencies and pharmaceutical industry groups to channel bribes to recipients. The company was fined 3 billion yuan - the largest corporate penalty ever imposed by Chinese authorities.

Cao Chen contributed to this story.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349