GlaxoSmithKline fined £297m over Chinese bribery allegations

British pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has been fined £297m in relation to allegations of bribery in China.

A statement released by GSK said that, according to Chinese law, the company had “offered money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains, and been found guilty of bribing non-government personnel.”

The guilty verdict, handed down in Changsha Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan Province, China, means the firm will pay the sum to the Chinese Government from “existing cash resources.”

“The illegal activities of GSKCI are a clear breach of GSK’s governance and compliance procedures; and are wholly contrary to the values and standards expected from GSK employees,” the statement read.

“GSK has co-operated fully with the authorities and has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI. This includes fundamentally changing the incentive program for its salesforces (decoupling sales targets from compensation); significantly reducing and changing engagement activities with healthcare professionals; and expanding processes for review and monitoring of invoicing and payments.”

Commenting further, GSK chief executive officer, Sir Andrew Witty said: “Reaching a conclusion in the investigation of our Chinese business is important, but this has been a deeply disappointing matter for GSK. We have and will continue to learn from this. GSK has been in China for close to a hundred years and we remain fully committed to the country and its people. We will continue to expand access to innovative medicines and vaccines to improve their health and well-being. We will also continue to invest directly in the country to support the government’s health care reform agenda and long-term plans for economic growth.”