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Big Trouble, Little Relief in China: Cops Say GSK Organised Bribery

By Gareth MacDonald+

Last updated on 04-Sep-2013 at 09:21 GMT2013-09-04T09:21:36Z

GSK: Big Trouble, Little Relief in China

GSK: Big Trouble, Little Relief in China

Chinese Police say GSK China rather than individual salespeople organised alleged bribery of doctors that is currently being investigated by the country's authorities.

In July four senior Chinese executives at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were detained after investigations indicated they attempted to funnel up to 3bn Yuan ($326m) through bogus travel agencies to bribe doctors to prescribe the firm's products preferentially.

Shortly after GSK said that some of its executives may have broken Chinese bribery laws .

However, according to a report by China’s Xinhua news agency, police say that: “As the investigation is moving on, it is becoming clear that it is organized by GSK China rather than drug salespeople's individual behaviour.”

GSK executive Huang Hong told the China Daily that – although company policy prohibits cash transfers to doctors and government officials – the firm turned a blind eye to such practices until they were uncovered at which point they blamed individual salespeople.

GSK spokesman told that: “We remain deeply concerned by the allegations of fraudulent behaviour and ethical misconduct in our China business.

The reports published today relate to the on-going investigation being conducted by the Chinese authorities. The issues identified would be a clear breach of our corporate values and we have zero tolerance for any behaviour of this nature. 

As we said previously, we are fully cooperating with the investigation and we completely share the desire of the Chinese authorities to root out corruption wherever it exists. We will take all necessary actions as this investigation progresses.”

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