Bristol-Myers Squibb has ended certain business practices in China that reportedly involve making payments to physicians, among other things. The move comes five months after the drug maker agreed to pay more than $14 million to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by making illegal payments to health care providers in the country.
Chinese social media reported the drug maker announced a clampdown on using expenses and speaker fees to reward physicians, according to Reuters. By email, a Bristol-Myers spokesman would only tell us that the company “voluntarily stopped certain initiatives in China as the company continues to review its activities and build upon its business model in China.” He did not respond when asked to be specific.
As we noted previously, Bristol-Myers was charged with paying health care providers at state-run hospitals in China between 2009 and 2014 in hopes of increasing prescriptions for various medicines, according to this order filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC charged the drug maker also lacked internal controls to monitor interactions between employees and health care providers, some of whom were given cash, jewelry, meals, travel, and entertainment.
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