The Telegraph has a good piece on the GSK corruption scandal in China, which we now learn was first sparked when a number of detailed allegations were about the company's head of China operations were sent to GSK's chief executive along with a sex tape of him in action with his ernai.
The amorous Mr Reilly was sent to China with a brief to 'bring about a dramatic increase in the firm’s revenues'.
A randomly chosen post from the China Medical News blog implies what this means in practice:
It is widely acknowledged by Chinese authorities that many of the problems in the current Chinese healthcare system stem from overservicing. Hospitals obtain about half their income from sales of drugs and also rely for income on the use of expensive and often unnecessary tests and procedures. Doctors in turn are given incentives in the form of bonuses and quotas to prescribe more drugs and more expensive drugs.
For wider background, check out the articles compiled under the blog's corruption tag.
This piece, from the same blog, is also on point:
Hong Kong has a British NHS-inspired publicly-funded health service that remains efficient, good value for money and corruption free. China, on the other hand, has ditched its Soviet-era state-run 'health for the masses' system and replaced it with a state-owned user-pays system that is run on private lines.
Moving back to the GSK case, it is alleged that the video was made by a Ms Vivian Shi, apparently hired by the company for government relations work on the grounds that her father, a senior cadre in Shanghai, had served as mentor to, Meng Jianzhu who is Zhou Yongkang's successor as head of China's police, judiciary and internal security forces. It's interesting that GSK decided it needed that sort of political cover.
It seems that Mr Reilly unwisely decided to investigate Ms Shi and hired local corporate investigator and ex-Reuters hand Peter Humphrey to do the job, with – perhaps in hindsight – predictable consequences.