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Joint Action against Bribery in the Medical Industry

2018-10-22 13:35 Monday

At the end of July, a vaccine scandal shocked China and exposed serious commercial bribery problems in the pharmaceutical industry. The 20th meeting of the interministerial joint conference was held in Beijing to rectify the situation and address unethical practices in the medical industry. The meeting focused on further strengthening the management of medical and health institutions and cracking down on commercial bribery in the medical purchase and sales process.

medical bribery

It has been reported that representatives from the State Administration for Market Regulation, State Administration of Taxation, Health Insurance Bureau, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Finance, and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine attended the meeting. The implications are clear: in the second half of 2018, the eight above-mentioned agencies will jointly crack down on commercial bribery and pervasive corruption related to the procurement of medicines, medical equipment and consumables by medical institutions.

Earlier this year, the State Administration for Market Regulation issued a notice, proposing to  investigate and punish anti-competitive behavior resulting from commercial bribery, such as the sale of bundled consumables and supporting equipment, as well as the practice of pharmaceutical kickbacks.

The Health Insurance Bureau, which was established in May 2018, is in charge of bidding, medical insurance and drug pricing. Recently, the bureau issued a notice on drug procurement, focusing on  issues such as local safeguards, regional blockades, administrative monopolies, as well as commercial bribery in the bidding for drugs, consumables and equipment.

In July 2018, the State Council issued a reform plan for the system of collection and management of national  and local taxes, which  would  crack down on a series of irregularities involving tax receipts in the pharmaceutical industry.

The recent actions mark just the beginning of a more vigilant attitude toward misconduct in the health industry, on the part of regulators. The exposure of major medical accidents has aroused strong repercussions from all walks of life, and the treatment of the medical industry will be more intense in the future.

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