Bribery may be common practice for drugs firms in China

Five drugs salesmen working for foreign companies operating in China have told the BBC their firms paid bribes to increase sales of products.

None wanted to be identified and the BBC didn’t say which firms were involved.

One said his company has paid around $1,000 to get its product back on the shelves at one hospital after its removal proved "an embarrassment" for him and his company. Following normal procedures would have "cost a lot of money and energy" he said. "We looked for a quick way."

The revalations follow allegations made last month that drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline trained its staff to build relationships with doctors by offering money and favours.

China’s official news agency Xinhua has said previously it is likely that more foreign and local pharmaceutical firms would be implicated in the corruption scandal, and the Chinese government is attempting to clamp down.