116 medics involved in Dumex milk bribe scandal

10/15/13

Permalink 02:22:56 pm, by dacare, 367 words, 563 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Pharma, Biotech & Healthcare

116 medics involved in Dumex milk bribe scandal

SOME 116 medical staff from 85 institutes in north China’s Tianjin Municipality were involved in a bribery scandal with French infant formula producer Dumex, the city government said yesterday.

From 2011, staff collected personal details of newborn babies for the company, gave presentations, distributed publicity materials and offered free introductory cans of Dumex.

In return, they received kickbacks from Dumex, part of French food group Danone, an investigation found.

Staff involved every month received sums ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of yuan.

The cash has been recovered, the government announced on its official Weibo.com micorblog.

Thirteen people have either been sacked, had operation licences revoked or been transferred to other positions.

And another six people, who had supervisory duties, received administrative punishments, the statement said.

Tianjin government did not give details on the remaining 97 staff involved in the scandal.

It said three names published in earlier media reports — Li Yue, Wang Zi and Lu Xuezhi — were Dumex employees, rather than hospital workers.

Dumex China launched an internal investigation after media reports in September.

Over the weekend, it said the investigation has now been “substantially completed.”

Dumex blamed the scandal on shortcomings in a company-sponsored mother-and-child health education program.

These led to “practices that contradicted the purpose of the program, which violated companywide policies,” said Dumex.
In some cases, the program was not appropriately managed, said the company.

Dumex said the program has been suspended, new management would be appointed, and training carried out.

Last month, a China Central Television program claimed doctors and nurses in Tianjin were feeding babies with Dumex in return for cash payments.

Babies developed a taste for Dumex and rejected their mothers’ milk, it was claimed.

It also gave Dumex an advantage in the fiercely competition formula milk market, said the report.

Last week CCTV claimed that the bribery scandal extended to other cities, including Beijing.

In 2011, the former Ministry of Health ruled that producers were not allowed to promote formula to babies up to six months old, unless mothers suffered from serious conditions.

In 2008, the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate said that medical staff using their positions to make money would be considered to be taking bribes.

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