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Updated: 2013-07-25 07:20
( China Daily)

Penalize GSK for bribery racket

Comment on "Authorities shut down travel agency in GSK case" (China Daily, July 19)

I had a bad experience when I visited China five years ago and had to take my relative's son to hospital for simply a slight fever. The hospital insisted that the boy undergo complicated and expensive tests that cost us 4,000 yuan ($652). It is this sort of rip-off that has been making healthcare unaffordable for many Chinese patients.

In Singapore, we have many polyclinics, which will charge about 50 yuan to treat such cases. Chinese medical practitioners who have undergone training in Singapore know how efficient the city-state's public healthcare service is.

The Chinese authorities must take firm action against GlaxoSmithKline for running a wide-ranging bribery scheme to boost sales and for overcharging for or overpricing medicines. GSK's actions not only violate the law, but also harm Chinese people's interests.

Corruption has dug deep roots in many Chinese hospitals with doctors and nurses taking instructions from pharmaceutical companies to overcharge patients.

The Chinese government, court and public security bureau should not be lenient toward GSK and penalize it for all the commercial crimes it has committed. In Singapore, if a person or company is found guilty of cheating on tax or overpricing, the tax department and court will fine him/it 20 times the amount he/it has earned illegally. Moreover, in the GSK case, some hospitals, doctors and nurses besides the pharmaceutical company should also be punished according to the law.

Shen, on China Daily website

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(China Daily 07/25/2013 page9)

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