China’s Anti-Monopoly Investigations Could Spill Over into Medical Devices

Following major anti-monopoly and corruption investigations in China’s pharmaceutical sector, Chinese regulators are making similar moves in the country’s medical device sector. According to industry sources, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce launched a price fixing probe in August that will continue through November 2013.

The probe covers both domestic and foreign medical device manufacturers, as well as Chinese hospitals that purchase — but do not use — expensive medical equipment. Presumably as part of the probe, the China Association for Medical Devices in August sent a government-issued survey to its 3,000 members. The survey requested information on pricing and business practices that was “unusual” in the amount of detail it asked for.

Analysts say they do not expect the probe to result in the same damages that have hit China’s pharmaceutical industry. Since officials accused drug company GlaxoSmithKline of bribery in early September, the company’s China sales have fallen by nearly 30 percent. Drug sales by other multinational companies have also fallen between 10 – 20 percent.