Glaxo’s China chief Mark Reilly faces bribes quiz as he secretly returns to the country
The British former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s Chinese operations has secretly returned to the country and is assisting authorities with their bribery investigation.
Mark Reilly left China in July just before police arrested four senior GSK executives amid allegations the firm used more than 700 travel agents to funnel bribes to doctors and medical professionals to boost sales of its drugs.
The 47-year-old Briton continued to work for the firm from its London offices. It yesterday emerged that he has been stuck in China for several weeks, having volunteered to return.Bribery investigation: Chinese police have blamed the company for orchestrating the alleged payments
A GSK spokesman said: ‘Mark is working closely with the Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, and voluntarily returned to China to help them.
‘Several weeks ago he met with the authorities in Changsha to provide them with information and assistance. At no point was he detained.
‘Mark remains in China to help further with the investigation should it be required.’
Chinese police have blamed the company itself for orchestrating the alleged payments – said to total £321million – and not individual employees.
GSK denies this claim. Chief executive Sir Andrew Witty has, however, admitted that some of his staff may have broken Chinese bribery and corruption laws.
Among the claims are that GSK used ‘sexual bribery’ – offering prostitutes to doctors to persuade them to prescribe its medicines. Witty described this ‘inappropriate and illegal behaviour’ as ‘shameful’.
The allegations have rocked the pharmaceuticals industry and reflect a new determination by China to crack down on corporate corruption, which can drive up prices for consumers.
Several other international drugmakers, including Sanofi, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Bayer, have also been visited by Chinese officials, and the episode has hit sales in the Chinese pharmaceutical market.
GSK is due to report third-quarter earnings next week. Its shares closed flat at 1575p last night.
Share or comment on this article
Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2463620/GlaxoSmithKlines-China-chief-Mark-Reilly-faces-bribes-quiz.html#ixzz2hz9mOd66
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook