Vietnam study finds bribes dominate medicine prices

Ben Hirschler
Reuters

How to measure medical corruption? Tuan Anh Nguyen, a researcher at Hanoi University of Pharmacy, believes informal payments to doctors are “a dominant factor” in high prices of the older off-patent drugs that make up the lion’s share of prescriptions in many emerging markets.

After interviewing doctors, pharmaceutical companies, government officials and pharmacists in both the private and state hospital sectors, he concluded in a study published last year that around 40 percent of the drugs’ price in Vietnam is typically spent on offering financial inducements to doctors.

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