Pharmaceutical company Novartis (NYSE:NOV) is the latest target of Chinese authorities attempting to crack down on the rampant bribery within the country’s hospital and pharmaceutical systems. Novartis’s eye care unit, Alcon, is being accused of bribing doctors in more than 200 Chinese hospitals to prescribe its lens implants, according to a report from the BBC.
The scandal was first reported by Chinese paper 21st Century Business Herald. The publication said Alcon paid Chinese doctors bribes disguised as research fees for clinical trials that never took place. Novartis was also accused by the same paper last month of bribing doctors to prescribe the company’s drugs.
“Alcon does not tolerate activities that are not in compliance with the laws and regulations in the markets where we operate,” Novartis said in a statement seen by the BBC. ”When any inappropriate activities are identified, we take swift remedial action.”