Issue Date: July 29, 2013
GSK Probe Expands In China
GlaxoSmithKline has dispatched a senior executive to China after a probe into sales practices resulted in four arrests and a foreign manager being banned from leaving the country (C&EN, July 22, page 6). After meeting with officials from China’s Ministry of Public Security, GSK’s Abbas Hussain said GSK China managers had evidently not complied with the firm’s internal processes and controls. Hussain, GSK president for Europe, Japan, emerging markets, and Asia-Pacific, added that GSK will lower the prices of the drugs the company sells in China if it discovers that illicit payments to Chinese doctors and government officials inflated prices. He visited China while local police are widening their probe of international drug companies. Police arrested an AstraZeneca sales representative at the firm’s Shanghai facility on July 19 and returned to talk with two of the employee’s managers on July 23. AstraZeneca says police informed the firm that it is an individual case. It is widely understood among drug industry insiders operating in China that government hospitals and doctors expect kickbacks from drug manufacturers in exchange for purchasing or prescribing drugs.
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