• France's news in English
 

China probe into alleged Sanofi bribes

Published: 10 Aug 2013 14:22 GMT+02:00

The joint investigation will probe claims in China's 21st Century Business Herald newspaper purporting to show that company staff paid 503 doctors in 79 hospitals bribes totalling 1.69 million yuan in a bid to increase sales.

The paper, citing documents provided by an anonymous whistleblower, said Thursday that in 2007 Sanofi paid doctors 80 yuan ($13) every time a patient bought its products, with the largest payment being 11,200 yuan.

Most of the payments were made to medical staff in hospitals in Beijing, the commercial hub of Shanghai, the southern city of Guangzhou and the eastern city of Hangzhou, and were listed as "research expenses", the report claimed.

The Beijing municipal health bureau will coordinate with the disciplinary authorities to investigate the case, a spokesman told state news agency Xinhua, it reported Saturday.

Sanofi said Thursday that it took the allegations "very seriously".

"We have zero tolerance to any unethical practice," it said in a statement.

"Sanofi has established processes in place for reviewing and addressing such issues in a manner that is consistent with our legal and ethical obligations."

The allegations come after four executives from British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were arrested last month for alleged bribery and other offences.

China's top economic planner is currently investigating 60 foreign and domestic pharmaceutical companies over their prices.
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Air traffic controllers to strike as talks breakdown
Passengers can expect disruption during strike. Photo: AFP

Air traffic controllers to strike as talks breakdown

Hopes that a strike by French air traffic controllers could be averted seemed to be dashed on Tuesday as unions said that talks had been broken off. It is likely airlines will have to cancel scores of flights. READ  

Top Uber executives to go on trial in France
Thibaud Simphal, General Director of Uber France, posing at Uber French headquarters in Paris. Photo: AFP

Top Uber executives to go on trial in France

Uber France and two of its bosses will go on trial in September over the company's allegedly "illegal" ride-booking practices, prosecutors said on Tuesday, after violent protests by taxi drivers against the app. READ  

Heatwave alert extended as France sizzles in sun
A man freshens up in a public fountain in Lyon. Photo: AFP

Heatwave alert extended as France sizzles in sun

France's weather agency has extended the summer weather warnings, as an intense heatwave spread further across the country on Tuesday. READ  

Opinion - Strikes in France
Why the French are right to go on strike
Opinion: Why the Frnech are entirely right to go on strike all the time. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP

Why the French are right to go on strike

With strikes by taxi drivers and ferry workers and planned action by air traffic controllers the French have come in for plenty of stick this week. Here a British blogger and a French leftist explain why the French are absolutely right to walk out. READ  

Calais chaos: Travellers curse 'striking French'
Disgruntled Eurostar passengers forced to wait to get across the Channel. Photo: AFP

Calais chaos: Travellers curse 'striking French'

Striking French sailors forced the Eurostar and Eurotunnel to suspend services on Tuesday, prompting many furious travellers to vent their anger at the French and in particular their tendency to cause absolute havoc when on strike. READ  

French strikers cause Channel travel chaos
Reports on Tuesday said striking French sailors had blocked the Channel Tunnel again. File Photo: AFP

French strikers cause Channel travel chaos

UPDATED: Striking French sailors and port workers stepped up industrial action on Tuesday when they blocked the Channel Tunnel after earlier blockading the port of Calais. Eurostar and Eurotunnel were forced to suspend services for several hours. READ  

What's on in France: Ten things to do in July
A festival goer at the Eurockéenees in Belfort. Photo: AFP)

What's on in France: Ten things to do in July

Summer has well and truly arrived in France, so we've collected ten of the best opportunities for you to make the most of it. READ  

French beheading 'was modus operandi of Isis'
Yassin Salhi, the man who beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a factory. Photo: AFP

French beheading 'was modus operandi of Isis'

French prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday that Yassin Salhi, who beheaded his boss before attempted to blow up a gas factory was motivated by terrorism and had links to Isis. READ  

Riviera's 'black widow' accused of murder
Photo: AFP

Riviera's 'black widow' accused of murder

A Frenchwoman dubbed the "black widow" of the Côte d'Azur stands accused of seducing several elderly men after meeting them through dating agencies and poisoning them. At least one of her victims died. READ  

French court backs controls on Italian border
A view of the Italian French border with migrants camped out on the Italian side. Photo: AFP

French court backs controls on Italian border

France's top administrative court has ruled that border controls on migrants at the Italian frontier were legal and did not violate the Schengen agreement that created Europe's passport-free zone. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Calais chaos: Travellers left to curse 'striking French'
Society
Why the French are right to strike (but perhaps not burn tracks)
National
It's getting hot in here: France set to bake under 'intense' heatwave
National
Dreading the heatwave in France? Here's how to survive the sun
Why France doesn't have much to lose from a Grexit
National
Frenchwoman dies as bungee jump ends in tragedy
Travel
The most beautiful French villages you've never heard of
National
Can we really feel any sympathy for French taxi drivers?
National
Here's what we know so far about the suspect in France's factory attack
Trouble in France as taxi drivers' anti-Uber protests turn violent
Feigned French shock over US spying is not fooling anyone
Gallery
When Franco-American relations turn sour - Ten transatlantic scraps
Spying on French presidents: What the Wikileaks documents reveal
Sport
Dozens fall violently ill after 'mud race' in France
How a genetically modified 'jellyfish-lamb' ended being eaten in France
Culture
Ten must-visit movie scene locations in Paris
National
Paris to return historic squares to the people
Forget Nutella here's eight things the French should really give up
Sport
What the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would look like
National
Video: See the cat that hitched a ride on a plane and lived to tell the tail
It's time to lay off the French - They are not that rude
National
Just look at what France has given the United States over the years
Health
France's creaking health service must change if it wants to stay world's best
National
French warn UK: 'Brexit could be your Waterloo'
Features
Waterloo 200 years on: Why it's still a taboo for the French
Europe commemorates 200 years since Waterloo
National
Waterloo: What you need to know about Napoleon
French told stop eating Nutella to save planet
Is it time for France's empty churches to be turned into mosques?
National
How John Lennon's song of peace led to a race row in a French school
French people told to stop scoffing Nutella in order to save planet
Society
French school teacher shows his pupils porn film
National
IN PICTURES: See the blaze that ravaged a French basilica
Video: Tourists shocked by Calais migrants scramble
Society
French family gets letter... 138 years late
The French words the English language needs to steal right now
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Travel
13 ways France aims to become more welcoming to tourists
Education
Expat parents protest changes to admissions for Paris bilingual schools
Education
Test yourself: Just how good is your French grammar?
Travel
France to spend 'hundreds of millions' on tourism
National
French mum's Facebook post about her daughter Louise has gone viral
Land for €1 per square metre - could this be the best bargain in France?
How well do you know France's road signs? Take our test
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,589
jobs available