Health authorities react to medicine commission expose

Updated 2016-12-26 08:47:57 Global Times

The national health and family planning authorities responded Sunday to a CCTV report saying doctors in several Shanghai and Hunan hospitals have illicitly taken commissions from pharmaceutical firms, according to chinanews.com.

Three Shanghai doctors found to be involved in the scandal were also suspended from duty, the medicines they were prescribing were banned and the disciplinary department has stepped in, the Shanghai Municipal commission of Health and Family Planning announced Sunday afternoon.

The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning on Saturday wrote on its official Weibo account that they have demanded hospitals involved in the scandal to probe into the issue and seriously deal with related staff to protect patients' rights. Two teams have been dispatched by the national authorities to Shanghai and Hunan for further investigation.

A doctor that was videoed taking commissions in one Hunan hospital has been suspended from his duty, according to the Hunan Commission of Health and Family Planning.

CCTV correspondents spent eight months investigating six large hospitals in Shanghai and Hunan Province, and found medicine sales staff were paying doctors to promote their products.

According to the report, some doctors at a Shanghai hospital would see "special patients" at lunchtime or just before they finished their shift. These patients were in fact pharmaceutical representatives who promoted medicines to the doctors and gave them commission fees in return. In the CCTV expose, it was shown that doctors could get 12 yuan (.72) for each prescription they wrote for a certain medicine.

A nationwide campaign will be launched by the national health and family planning authority to crack down on similar illegal practices.

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