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Bribery List to Target Drug Firms
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China's Ministry of Health has recently ordered for the blacklisting of drug companies involve in bribery, as part of the national efforts to crack down on commercial bribery.

The blacklist will be composed by provincial health authorities and posted on their websites. Medical institutions shall be forbidden to buy any drugs or medical equipments from the listed companies in two years, according to a circular issued by the ministry.

Companies that have convicted of bribery by judicial courts would be blacklisted, said the circular.

Companies that were once investigated by the Communist Party's discipline inspection departments and got punishment for offering bribes would be taken into the list, it said.

The list would also include companies that were once penalized by the industrial and commercial department, financial department, or food and drug supervision department for bribery, it said.

The new rules encourages any individual and institutions to report illegal deals between drug producers and medical institutions to health authorities, which should respond with immediate investigation.

It ordered health departments to confiscate all illegal benefits offered to drug purchasers and doctors in medical institutions and give them severe punishment. Doctors might see their licenses revoked for taking bribes.

In China, some companies and individuals offered commissions to health officials and staff to secure contracts for substandard drugs and medical equipments, resulting in many medical accidents.

Some doctors prescribed expensive drugs for which they received kickbacks and caused public complaints and distrust of hospitals.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced in April last year it was to blacklist companies involved in illicit deals.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2007)

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