[Ip-health] GlaxoSmithKline chiefs 'confess to bribing Chinese doctors'

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 08:26:43 PDT 2013


GlaxoSmithKline chiefs 'confess to bribing Chinese doctors'

Public Security Ministry announcement says GSK executives paid off 
healthcare staff to persuade them to prescribe drugs
Steve Anderson Author Biography

Thursday 11 July 2013


Executives at the pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline have been 
accused of bribing doctors in China, in a long-running campaign to 
persuade them to prescribe drugs to patients.

Officials from China's Public Security Ministry in an announcement 
alleged that the employees paid "large bribes," laundered through travel 
agencies, to doctors, hospitals and others to ""open new sales channels 
and increase drug revenues". Giving no specific time frame,  the 
announcement said the scheme had lasted a "long time".

Identifying the GSK employees as "high officials," the ministry said 
they are also suspected of tax offences involving collusion with travel 
agencies to issue false invoices, the ministry said. No details were 
given of the size of payments or who received them.

"After questioning, the suspects confessed to the crime," the statement 
said.

GSK said it would co-operate with the authorities but said today's 
announcement was the first official communication it has received about 
the investigation.

"Corruption has no place in our business," said a company statement. "If 
evidence of such activity is provided we would of course act swiftly on it."

A police ministry press office spokeswoman said she could not release 
the GSK employees' names or other details because they have not been 
charged with a crime.

Police in the central city of Changsha announced two weeks ago that GSK 
employees had been detained for questioning about unspecified "economic 
crimes." Today's statement said the investigation also took place in 
Shanghai and the central city of Zhengzhou.

GlaxoSmithKline said in June that it had investigated an accusation that 
its salespeople in China bribed doctors and found no evidence of 
wrongdoing. The company has said the police investigation might be based 
on information from the same anonymous source.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC is headquartered in Britain but has a presence in 
the United States, which could make it liable to penalties under US 
anti-bribery laws.

Last week, state media reported the government was investigating 
production costs for 60 foreign and domestic drug companies in a 
possible first step toward changing state-set maximum prices. The 
announcement gave no indication any companies were suspected of wrongdoing.

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