The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is exploring the possibility that numerous healthcare vendors, including Siemens AG, Philips NV and General Electric, may have used “local middlemen” to bribe the Chinese government and certain hospital officials. The news, courtesy of a new report from Reuters, includes details provided by two anonymous sources with inside knowledge of the situation.
While the SEC did not wish to comment on the situation, the three vendors all denied wrongdoing, according to Reuters.
The report also highlighted the connection between this SEC investigation and a shareholder lawsuit against “current and former members of GE’s board in New York state court.”
“The lawsuit accuses GE of colluding with Philips, Siemens and Toshiba Corp’s medical unit—which was bought by Canon Inc in 2016—to fix prices and rig tenders for expensive medical equipment, such as MRI machines and CT scanners, through Chinese middlemen,” according to Reuters. “The lawsuit included public data on how much Chinese hospitals paid for the equipment, which it said was routinely at least 40% above the price the middlemen paid to the companies.”
For more information, including details of how each vendor reacted to Reuter’s report, click the link below.