Giving bribes to doctors and hospitals is illegal, and goes against the beautiful mission statements many pharmaceutical companies have written. But if you want to expand your drug business in China, there is not other way than paying bribes, tells business analyst Shaun Rein in NPR.
“It’s a systemic problem. It’s certainly not a GlaxoSmithKline problem,” says Shaun Rein, author of The End of Cheap China.
Salaries for doctors in China average less than a thousand dollars a month. As a result, bribes are an integral part of China’s healthcare system.
“Foreign pharmaceutical brands are caught in a conundrum,” says Rein. “In order for them to sell into China, they have to give bribes. Because that’s what the Ministry of Health and that’s what hospital administrators and doctors are forcing them to do. If you don’t give a bribe, you can’t expand here.”
Rein suspects the government is singling out GlaxoSmithKline because it wants to put an end to the corruption in China’s healthcare system and it’s easier to target foreign companies to scare the entire industry.
Not surprisingly, coming Thursday 25 July the +China Weekly Hangout will offer the opportunity to exchange thoughts on corruption and healthcare. You can read our announcement here, but when you also follow our Google+ page, you won’t miss any announcements.
The China Weekly Hangout discussed the bird flu in China on April 18 with flu expert Harm Kiezebrink from Beijing, HKU-lecturer Paul Fox from Hong Kong and CEIBS adjunct professor Richard Brubaker from Shanghai. We try to figure out what is happening with N7H9, and what possible scenario’s can develop. And we discuss what the Chinese government has learn from SARS, now ten years ago. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.