China holds four Glaxo execs in bribery scandal Published: 2013-7-16 18:33:00

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Four senior GSK executives detained
Four senior Chinese executives from the multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have been held by police on bribery and tax-related charges.

Police voice:
Police found over 3 billion yuan ($489 million) of transactions with evidence of illegal behavior since 2007.

GSK voice:
GSK reaffirmed they will cooperate with police to root out corruption, saying they are deeply disappointed by the allegations of fraudulent behavior and ethical misconduct by some individuals at the company and third-party agencies.

       Case  Details

June 27

GSK employees in both Shanghai and Beijing were reportedly detained by police.

June 28
Changsha police annouced the start of their investigation of GSK high-level executives for economic crimes.
July 8
GSK China comfirmed they had received sales and marketing reports involving Botox in China.
July 11
The Ministry of Public Security said that executives from GSK China are currently under investigation for bribery.
July 14
Police detained four senior Chinese executives and over 20 employees from other pharmaceutical companies and travel agencies for bribery and tax-related charges.



Global Times Editorial: GSK case a lesson for bribery culprits

Giving bribes is also a violation of the law and one of the most formidable challenges in constructing a sound legal system.

Xinhua: Bribery ultimately affects consumers

Foreign drug companies won their dominant position in China’s market through bribery, and in doing so have effectively blocked many smaller domestic companies from competition. If this continues, the market will surely suffer and bribery will increase to the point where the expense of bribes is factored into retail prices.

The Beijing News: Bribery is a two-way street

We have failed to effectively deal with many foreign corruption cases in the past. While foreign companies are prosecuted in their own countries, they often escape Chinese justice. This emboldens foreign companies to neglect Chinese law. In order to effectively control “foreign corruption”, we should not only prosecute those who bribe but also those who accept bribes, such as officials, industry associations and doctors.

The Beijing News: Time to regulate China’s drug market

Though cases against multi-national drug companies have increased in recent years, bribery continues to persist. This shows that profits are too large to ignore, deterrents in place are not strong enough and the legal fees required  to skirt the system are relatively low. We must strive to eradicate these “hidden rules” and continue strict supervision.

Beijing Times: Long, hard fight against bribery ahead

In the past, corporations such as Johnson and Johnson, Siemens and Pfizer were involved in bribery cases in China. The recent GSK case shows us once again that corruption has nothing to do with a company’s size or country of origin. It also shows us that we have a long way to go in the fight against bribery. We should not let these companies off the hook.

Some insiders say that it is expected for drug companies to bribe doctors. However, this “hidden rule” is against the law and must be punished. Only with a heavy hand can we establish a fair and sound market.  

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幕后黑手 mùhòu hēishǒu person manipulating sb. or sth. from behind the scenes


透过已经查明的更多案件细节,一个跨国药企的商业贿赂利益链逐渐清晰,将药价推向虚高的幕后黑手开始浮出水面。(Source: 《今日早报》)

Details about the case have offered further clarity into the chain of bribery among multinational drug corporations, bringing to light those behind the scenes manipulating prices.

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