Exclusive: Drugmaker GSK investigating corruption allegations in UAE

Tue Oct 7, 2014 11:54am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which was slapped with a record $489 million fine for corruption in China last month, said on Tuesday it was looking into allegations of corruption in the United Arab Emirates.

Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals group confirmed the investigation following allegations of improper payments set out in a whistleblower's email sent to its top management on Monday. The email, purporting to be from a GSK sales manager in the Gulf state, was seen by Reuters.

The company is already investigating alleged bribery in a number of Middle East countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, as well as Poland.

"As we have already said, we are undertaking an investigation into our operations in the Middle East following complaints made previously. This investigation continues and these specific claims were already being investigated as part of this process," a GSK spokesman said.

GSK and other major drugmakers are under increased scrutiny in the wake of the high-profile Chinese case and law enforcement agencies in both the United States and Britain are clamping down on overseas corruption by multinational companies.

The China scandal has hit GSK's drug sales in the country and tarnished the reputation of Chief Executive Andrew Witty.

Other pharmaceutical companies, too, are in the firing line for alleged improper sales behavior.

France's Sanofi said on Monday it had informed U.S. authorities of allegations of improper payments by its employees to healthcare professionals in East Africa and the Middle East.   Continued...

 
The logo of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seen on its office building in Shanghai July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song