GlaxoSmithKline’s bribery scandal highlights China’s corrupt health care system
Share Now on:
Chinese police allege GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors in China with money and trips, using a tax receipt scam to hide the wrongdoing. It may sound like a most nefarious plot, but those in the know say it’s par for the course in China.
“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.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.