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Aug 11, 2016

DealBook Morning News - August 11, 2016: Abbott Pushes for Sales at Any Cost

The New York Times
By Amie Tsang
Abbott Pushes for Sales at Any Cost A sales job for Abbott in India may be a prized position, but the country is also a valuable market for the pharmaceutical company. And some employees have had to pay for the lengths that managers are willing to go to to win customers in India, where the industry is still fast-growing and highly competitive. It cost one employee his life — Ashish Awasthi jumped in front of a train, leaving a note saying that he committed suicide because he could not meet sales targets.
Employees told The New York Times that they were pressured into skirting laws and medical standards as managers tried to drum up business. One common practice was to hold health camps in which representatives would test patients for various ailments in an effort to raise business for doctors, who would then prescribe Abbott drugs. One sales employee said he was pushed to “conduct business in unethical ways.” Another said he was fired for complaining that his team was submitting fake invoices to increase sales.
Abbott declined to comment on individual employees, but Anand Kadkol, the public affairs director for India, said that the company was aware of a number of the allegations raised and had addressed them.
Australia Blocks Foreign Bids for Electricity Supplier Protectionism is on the rise in Australia, where politicians have been using economic nationalism to win over the electorate. The latest example is a decision by the treasurer, Scott Morrison, to reject competing bids from Hong Kong and China for the Ausgrid electricity network. Mr. Morrison said the proposals were “contrary to the national interest.”
The bids came from Cheung Kong Infrastructure, controlled by the family of the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and the State Grid Corporation of China, according to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter. The control of Australian assets drew scrutiny last year when the port of Darwin was leased to a Chinese company with links to the military, and the United States voiced its concern that “port access could facilitate intelligence collection.”
Valeant Said to Be Under Criminal Investigation Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Valeant defrauded insurers by hiding its ties to Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order phamacy, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors are reportedly examining whether Philidor made false statements to insurers about its ties to Valeant.
Valeant had already come under scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission for its relationship with Philidor and from prosecutors and Congress over its pricing practices.
Contact amie.tsang@nytimes.com
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