GSK: “Godfather” of Corporate Crime Andrew Witty And UK Prime Minister David Cameron Cosy Up In China


Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit at the Ministry of Public Security, said in July: “From our investigation, bribery is part of the strategy of this company. This is why they have bribery activities in China.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/02/glaxosmithkline-china-davidcameron_n_4370643.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

GSK CEO Andrew Witty Joins David Cameron In China Amid Bribery Probe

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 02/12/2013 11:06 GMT  |  Updated: 02/12/2013 11:13 GMT

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David Cameron may risk diplomatic tensions by bringing Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline on his trade mission to China, while the pharmaceuticals giant is under investigation amid accusations that it acted as the criminal “godfather” of a massive bribery network.

GlaxoSmithKline’s Chinese wing, which employs 7,000 people, was put under investigation in July over allegations that it acted as the “ringleader” in a bribery network that channelled up to three billion yuan (£303 million) to hospitals, doctors and officials to boost its drug sales. Police detained four GSK executives in China as part of the investigation.

Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit at the Ministry of Public Security, said in July: “From our investigation, bribery is part of the strategy of this company. This is why they have bribery activities in China.”

“They used travel agents as a money platform. But I must make it clear that among these partners, GSK is the main party responsible. It is like a criminal organisation, there is always a boss. In this game, GSK is the godfather.”

Sir Andrew Witty, GSK chief executive and part of the Prime Minister’s business advisory group, sent his head of emerging markets, Abbas Hussain, to manage GSK’s response. The probe could conclude as soon as this month.

The probe caused sales in the country to fall by 61%, leading Witty to blame Chinese media for whipping up “an anxiety which has led to some disruption in the business”. GSK sold £759 million of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in China in 2012, up 17% on 2011, comprising around 3.5% of the group’s total.

In response to the allegations, Sir Andrew said: “The activities described by the authorities are very serious and totally unacceptable. They are contrary to our values and to everything I believe in. We very clearly recognise there is a profound need to earn the trust of Chinese people again. We will take every action to do so.

“We continue to fully co-operate with the authorities and respect the progress of the investigation. As such there is very little further I can say.”

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6 comments

  1. Klaas

    “From our investigation, bribery is part of the strategy of this company. This is why they have bribery activities in China.”

    If those are the words of Gao Feng, the man obviously has a clear eye on the criminal nature of this butcher company.
    I wonder whether the Chinese authorities will have the guts to expel GlaxoSmithKline from their country and this might even be the beginning of the end for GlaxoSmithKline…
    This will me a bit too optimistic but the time that they came away with denial and leaving the victims of their “non addictive wonder drugs” dangling in utter despair is hopefully coming to an end.

    • truthman30

      Hi Klaas,

      I agree with you. Although I don’t think GSK will be expelled from China or anywhere else- they are too powerful. However, it is interesting that Witty was accompanying Cameron there- it seems to me that there is more to this than meets the eye– it wouldn’t be surprising to discover that GSK will be mostly let off the hook for their current bribery escapades…

      • Klaas

        Indeed they are powerful and probably they will just do business as usual in poisoning innocent people with their so-called “wonder drugs”.

        However, also the governmens are guilty, including the Obama administration. When they really would have the guts, the Army could invade the GSK ofiices, arrest Witty and the liars behind the Seroxat scandal, put them in jail (and on a daily regime of 60 mg Seroxat!) and dismantle the whole company.
        Maybe some departments of GSK, like the one producing the toothpastes, can be sanitized and integrated in other companies.

        It is not really difficult if the political desire would be there! But they obviously do not have the gusts or just have interests opposite to ours…

  2. Sarah

    Mr Nice Guy can conjure up just the right wording to lead the company on its mission to stay in a very lucrative market.

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