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China Probes Pricing At Drugmakers Including Fresenius SE & Co KGaA-Reuters


Thursday, 4 Jul 2013 07:31am EDT 

Reuters reported that China's top economic planning agency is investigating costs and prices charged by drugmakers, including units of GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co Inc, as foreign firms come under pressure from Beijing over possible price-fixing. The move follows a separate probe into instant milk powder, which has already led to price cuts. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is surveying production costs and prices charged at multiple foreign and Chinese drug companies, according to a July 2, 2013 statement from the commission. News of the investigation was reported earlier on Thursday by the official Securities Daily newspaper. The NDRC will examine 27 companies on cost issues and 33 for pricing. The investigation is being done to understand the cost and pricing situation within the companies, and to adjust drug prices in a timely manner, the agency said. In addition to GSK and Merck, other foreign companies being investigated over costs include Astellas Pharma Inc, Novartis AG's generics unit Sandoz, Boehringer Ingelheim, Baxter International Inc and Fresenius SE & Co KGaA. An investigation team from NDRC will visit the companies involved between July and October, the agency said. 

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