A Chinese newspaper says drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. spent millions of dollars on kickbacks to doctors in that country for new patients who started using Lilly’s insulin products.
The 21st Century Business Herald says the Indianapolis-based company spent at least 30 million yuan, or about $4.9 million, in direct kickbacks to doctors. The paper cites a former Lilly executive.
Lilly says it is deeply concerned about the allegations, and it is investigating similar accusations it learned about last year.
The newspaper says doctors received payments as high as $130 in some cases for each patient.
Chinese authorities have been cracking down on pharmaceutical misconduct. They’ve launched an investigation against French drugmaker Sanofi. They also detained last month some employees of British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline on bribery suspicions.