Changzheng Hospital urges Novartis China to remove medical representatives amidst nationwide anti-corruption drive

A Shanghai hospital has demanded a drug company fire four of its representatives who work in the hospital. But according to the company, one never worked for the company and another left five years ago.

Photo by Kuang Da

Photo by Kuang Da

By TANG Zhuoya


Changzheng Hospital, a public hospital in Shanghai has written to pharmaceutical corporation Novartis, demanding the company remove four medical representatives from the hospital.

Novartis responded that one of them left the company in 2018. Another one was never a Novartis employee.

A nationwide campaign to address corruption in the pharmaceutical sector began at the end of last month.

Changzheng Hospital sent the complaint before the campaign began. In many hospitals across the country, widespread cleanups have been going on, recently with many "lecture fees" practitioners have been paid returning from whence they came.

Sales representatives are particular targets as many have "special" relationships with public health facilities that extend far beyond anything necessary for ordinary business.

Pharmaceutical companies are conducting "training" and have canceled many of their academic conferences.

Despite all this well-intentioned activity, it is still not common for a hospital to directly instruct pharmaceutical companies to fire staff.

Changzheng Hospital did not reply to inquiries, but a regulation issued in 2020 prohibited medical representatives from engaging in unregistered academic promotions, selling, or misleading actions within medical institutions.

These representatives may only run promotions in hospitals on designated days. On other days, approval from the hospital's ethics department is necessary.