GSK faces criminal bribery investigation in Poland
By Ben Hirschler and Adrian Krajewski
LONDON/WARSAW (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote) is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors to promote its lung drug Seretide, adding to problems for a company already accused of corruption in China and Iraq.
Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, or CBA, said on Monday that 13 people had been charged in connection with the investigation launched by Polish prosecutors.
Britain's biggest drugmaker said one employee had been disciplined following a company probe into the matter and it was co-operating with the Polish authorities.
"The investigation found evidence of inappropriate communication in contravention of GSK policy by a single employee. The employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a result," the drugmaker said in a statement.
"We continue to investigate these matters and are co-operating fully with the CBA (Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau)."
The case was highlighted by BBC Panorama, which reported that the investigation included 11 doctors and a GSK regional manager, charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012.
GSK said the allegations related to the way a respiratory disease program was conducted in the Lodz region. The 2010-12 program centered on GSK's top drug Seretide, also known as Advair, which has worldwide sales of around $8 billion a year.
According to the BBC, one doctor has admitted guilt and has been fined and given a suspended sentence, after accepting 100 pounds ($170) for a lecture he never gave. Continued...