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