China is investigating the former head of a healthcare ministry unit responsible for drug trials and leading implementation of healthcare policy for bribery, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.
A court in Sichuan province said it was investigating Wang Yu, the former top official at the Bureau of Medical Administration, as part of a crack- down on corruption in the healthcare sector.
An official at the health ministry declined to give immediate comment when contacted by telephone while an official at the specific bureau declined to comment. Reuters was unable to reach Wang for comment.
The bureau, part of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, oversees the drafting and implementation of healthcare policy, manages clinical trials and helps supervise the operation of public hospitals.
China’s fast-growing healthcare market, the second largest in the world, has been in the spotlight over the last two years with a far- reaching corruption investigation into the drug sector leading to a near $500 million fine against British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L) last year.
The investigations, part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption, have thrown an unwelcome spotlight on healthcare executives, doctors and officials. Sources this month said the investigations had started to spread to the medical device sector.