ReutersAug 22, 2013
U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co said it was "deeply concerned" about allegations published in a Chinese newspaper that it spent more than 30 million yuan ($4.90 million) to bribe doctors in China to prescribe the firm’s medicines instead of rival products. A former senior manager for the company, identified by the pseudonym Wang Wei, told the 21st Century Business Herald that bribery and illegal payments at Eli Lilly’s China operations were widespread, the paper reported on Thursday.Eli Lilly is the third foreign drugmaker to face whistleblower accusations in the newspaper this month. The reports coincide with multiple Chinese investigations into the pharmaceutical sector, spanning alleged corruption to how drugs are priced. "In order to hit sales at rival companies and push the company’s own products, bribes and special payments of all sorts were extremely common at the company. The level of the problem was just as bad as at GlaxoSmithKline," Wang was quoted as saying…hat tip to Pharmagossip
I doubt that pharmaceutical companies hire sales people who are like this man, criminals by design. But what they do seem to do is regularly create an atmosphere that produces this kind of criminal outcome. The way you get ahead is by meeting or exceeding sales goals that are independent of the value or need for the product. In the last post, I was talking about sitting through the Trial in Texas where a regional sales manager calmly testified about training his his reps not just to lie, but teaching them how to do it. And then they rolled out a diagram that had the "chain of command" from his level all the way to the top of the corporation [J&J], and he traced for us meetings that documented the source of this kind of training all the way up the chain. The suit was settled within a day or so of his testimony. It was a disillusioning morning.