BEIJING— Roche Holding AG said local Chinese authorities visited one of its facilities this week, the latest in a series of moves that analysts say mark Beijing's efforts to maintain government pressure on the pharmaceutical industry.
Authorities from the local office of China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Wednesday visited the Swiss drug maker's regional office in the city of Hangzhou, in eastern China, a spokesman for Roche said. "The details of the visit are not clear," the spokesman said, adding that Roche would cooperate with authorities in any inquiries.
The agency acts as China's corporate registry and has some marketing and antitrust responsibilities. Authorities at Hangzhou's AIC weren't immediately available for comment.
The development comes as authorities scrutinize pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices in China. Experts say China's underfunded medical system has made hospitals reliant on drugs for funding, which encourages bribery and corrupt business practices. Authorities are also facing pressure to keep drug costs low as China expands its social-safety net and provides medical care to an increasingly demanding population.
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