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The Editors blog

An inside look at what’s happening within the pharma industry and across the PMGroup from the PMLiVE editorial team

Pitfalls and profits in China

What does the corruption investigation in China mean for pharma?

There is no shortage of Chinese proverbs to choose from when considering the state of the industry's travails in the Middle Kingdom. But as China's pharma corruption investigations continue, amid a drip-feed of revelations, perhaps the one that seems most appropriate is 'stare at the profit and step in the pitfall'.

Whether the alleged behaviour was down to rogue individuals or business units that lost their moral compass is almost beside the point. So too are lobbyist complaints about European companies being unfairly targeted. The important thing is to move forward and ensure that companies live up to their expressions of high-standards, especially in such a competitive and strategically-important market as China.

Firm conclusions will take a while to form as allegation and denial are played out in local media reports, but what is clear is that while the rules haven't changed, their application under China's President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive have.

If pharma is serious about working in China – and it clearly is – then it should start looking at the country through a new lens and focus less on the profits from this most emerging of emerging markets and more on avoiding its pitfalls.

This article first appeared as the editor's comment in PME September 2013

Article by
Dominic Tyer

editorial director of PMGroup

17th September 2013

From: Sales, Marketing

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