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Published on : May 04, 2015

Siemens AG was investigated last year by a well known Chinese regulatory authority in order to find out whether or not the healthcare unit of this German company and also the dealers of the same engaged in bribery wherein they bribe the hospitals to purchase the expensive variety of disposable products that are utilized in some of the medical devices. This investigation which was not reported earlier, also follows an extensive probe into this Chinese pharmaceutical industry which in 2014 witnessed GlaxoSmithKline fined almost US$500 million to have bribed various officials push the sale of medicines. 

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of China had also accused Siemens and the dealers of the same for having violated the competition law via donation of medical devices which were done as a repayment for the agreements for exclusively purchasing chemical reagents that are required for running machines that are from Siemens. It is yet to found out whether or not Siemens has declined any of these accusations or for that matter have any specific actions been taken against this company or any of its dealers. Several senior officials at Siemens refrained from commenting. Furthermore, even SAIC refused to comment or give insights into the matter. 

Lawyers at China also stated that it’s not rare to come across situations wherein regulators conduct investigations unexpectedly and discretely, followed by legal teams negotiating settlements for keeping probes completely under wraps. This investigation of Siemens involved close to 1000 hospitals and even has the capacity to give signs for greater probes into several other manufacturers of medical devices. 
Johnson & Johnson, Koninklijke, General Electric, Medtronic, and Philips are the other medical device manufacturing firms that operate in China.