Bristol-Myers Will Stop Paying Doctors for Speaking Fees in China
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced it would stop paying for speaking fees as well as sponsoring different medical association across China after it uncovered possible violations of its own policies, according to a leaked internal document.
Karl Lintel, the President for Bristol Myers in China said that all promotional activities would stop immediately for the pharmaceutical giant, in a memo sent out to all employees. Lintel did not specify what possible violation of its company policies had taken place.
A company spokesperson said Bristol-Myers had voluntarily stopped some of its initiatives across China as the company carries out reviews of activities.
The banned activities by the company will include providing refreshments and food to clients, paying fees to speakers and sponsoring doctors and their different associations as well as institutes, wrote Lintel in his memo.
The list of banned activities applies to employees in every division.
China is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world, showed data online. While China accounts for not even 10% of the complete revenue for most of the drug companies that are multinational. It is seen as a very important market to drive sales growth.
GlaxoSmithKline, the largest drug maker in the United Kingdom, stopped its direct payments to Chinese doctors for attending medical seminars and giving speeches globally, and it introduced a new program for compensation for its sales reps who deal with those who can prescribe medicines.
The changes, which were announced back in 2013, have been scheduled to take place during this year, have followed a number of investigations of the practices of marketing in both China and the U.S.
In 2014, Glaxo agreed it would pay close to $489 million to the government of China to resolve an ongoing investigation there. That probe by the U.S. was settled during 2012.