GlaxoSmithKline regret over China 'bribery'

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline expressed regret over "shameful" alleged bribery of doctors and health officials by its executives in China

GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline expressed regret over "shameful" alleged bribery of doctors and health officials by its executives in China.

Millions of pounds were said to have been funnelled through travel agencies over six years while "sexual bribery" was also alleged to have been used, according to reports in China today.

The gifts were said to have been illegally provided in order to boost sales and raise the price of medicines.

Authorities named four senior GSK executives in relation to the claims, which surfaced last week when officials said suspects had confessed to the crime.

In a statement yesterday, it said: "We are deeply concerned and disappointed by these serious allegations of fraudulent behaviour and ethical misconduct by certain individuals at the company and third-party agencies.

The company said it had immediately stopped using all travel agencies identified by the investigation and was conducting a thorough review of all historic transactions related to its use of travel agencies in China.

It said it would also review compliance procedures, adding that it fully respected laws and regulations in the country.

The funnelling of money through travel company contracts allegedly helped GSK executives bypass company rules that prevent giving gifts of more than 300 yuan (£32) per recipient.

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