Foreign pharmaceutical firms in China admit to paying bribes to boost product sales

London, Aug. 13 (ANI): Five drugs salesmen for major foreign pharmaceutical firms operating in China have accepted that their firms have routinely paid bribes to hospitals in order to increase sales of their products.

The salesmen revealed that firms had paid money to ensure that their products could return to the shelves at the hospitals without any hassles, the BBC reports.

They further said that it would have cost a lot more to achieve the same result through official routes, the report added.

However, they refused to reveal their identities over fears of losing their jobs.

According to the report, one of the salesmen said that his company had paid about 1,000 dollars to get its product back on the shelves at one hospital.

Earlier last month, Chinese police had alleged that the British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline had engaged in "mafia-style behaviour" for increasing drug sales.

GSK has been accused of extending up to 320 million pounds through travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials, the report said.

A detained Chinese executive from GSK had also said that bribes paid by his company had inflated prices of its products by a third, it added.

GSK had also confirmed that it was now co-operating with the Chinese investigation. (ANI)