GSK are ‘very decent’ according to UK Prime Minister David Cameron


“All I’ll say is that from all my dealings with GSK I know that they are a very important, very decent and strong British business that is a long-term investor in China and it’s a business that very much does think about the long-term development of its products and its businesses,” he said.”

Simply astounding comments by David Cameron in his defense of GSK in China. It seems a bit pathetic in my opinion- that GSK need to get the UK prime minister to give them a character reference.

He’s only short of breaking into morris dancing, leaping into a silly-walk or blurting out three hail mary’s and a bloody novena.

You couldn’t make this shit up… 

It’s all very python-esque methinks..

 

(Apparently the bribing of Chinese doctors by GSK has been going on since 2007)

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/03/uk-britain-china-trade-gsk-idUKBRE9B217T20131203

Cameron defends GSK’s business practices in China

BY ANDREW OSBORN AND BEN HIRSCHLER

SHANGHAI Tue Dec 3, 2013 10:03pm GMT

British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he delivers a speech to students during his trip in China at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, December 3, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he delivers a speech to students during his trip in China at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, December 3, 2013.

CREDIT: REUTERS/CHINA DAILY

(Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday mounted a robust defence of GlaxoSmithKline’s business practices in China – where it is being investigated for alleged bribery – calling the firm “very decent”.

Cameron’s intervention came a day after he raised GSK’s situation with China’s top leadership in a move one person familiar with the conversation said was designed to draw a line under the company’s woes and ensure it was treated fairly.

Cameron is on a trade promotion trip to China with around 100 executives, including GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty, and is trying to help the firm grapple with the aftermath of accusations it funnelled up to 3 billion yuan ($492 million) to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to boost its drug sales.

The claims are the most serious against a multinational in China in years. Police detained four Chinese GSK executives as well as Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group. He is still being held.

Cameron on Tuesday gave reporters what amounted to a strong character reference for GSK, making it clear he was happy to fight its corner.

“All I’ll say is that from all my dealings with GSK I know that they are a very important, very decent and strong British business that is a long-term investor in China and it’s a business that very much does think about the long-term development of its products and its businesses,” he said.

“I think it is right to raise a case like that. Britain has a record of properly standing up for British businesses and British individuals, raising individual cases in the right way and about having a proper dialogue with the Chinese authorities about the issues.”

The person familiar with the matter said Britain had detected a softening in China’s position, saying it had encouraged GSK’s Witty to join Cameron in China.

Witty himself has declined to comment on the investigation into alleged illegal payments by GSK to doctors and officials, but told Reuters in Beijing on Monday that the British drugmaker would have something to say “quite soon”.

GSK is Britain’s largest pharmaceuticals business and a major employer of skilled workers, including many scientists. Witty has advised Cameron on business matters in the past and recently wrote a report on universities for the government.

The scandal has tarnished the image of both GSK and its CEO, who has sworn to get to the bottom of any wrongdoing.

GSK’s sales in China dived 61 percent in the third quarter after hospital staff shunned visits by its sales teams in the wake of the investigation.

Legal and industry sources told Reuters last month that police were likely to charge some of GSK’s Chinese executives but not the company itself. One person with direct knowledge of the situation said the police investigation was likely to be concluded by around early December.

GSK has said some of its senior Chinese executives appear to have broken the law. It has also said it has zero tolerance for bribery, calling the allegations in China “shameful”.

GSK sold 759 million pounds ($1.2 billion) of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in China in 2012, up 17 percent on 2011, representing about 3.5 percent of its worldwide total.

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2 comments

  1. bettyhill

    just shows how badly informed PM Cameron really is as it should be quite clear now that big pharma is ‘only’ interested in vast profits and basically has no empathy with humankind other than it being an immense cash-cow for them. Their actions and out-of-court settlements speak volumes and where history cannot lie.

    For the major drug companies throughout the world are continually being found out for criminal and fraudulent activity in order to sell their pharmaceuticals. Not me saying this but the world’s media coverage and the out-of-court agreements that they have settled and where in the past 5 years alone fines in excess of $17 billion have been agreed between authorities and the big drug companies. These include but where they are not a fully exhaustive list of examples,
    $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion by J&J (2013),
    £3 billion by GSK (2012),
    $762 million by Amgen (2012),
    $1.5 billion by Abbott (2012),
    $95 million by Boehringer Ingelheim (2012),
    $109 million by Sanofi-Aventis (2012),
    $950 million by Merck (2011),
    $520 million by AstraZeneca (2010),
    $750 million by GSK (2010),
    $423 million by Novartis (2010),
    $460 million by Allergan (2010),
    $2.3 billion by Pfizer (2009),
    $1.42 billion by Eli Lilly (2009)
    and $425 million by Cephalon (2008) – Source for all from the US ‘Department of Justice’ and world media sources. Note also that all of these actions had criminal activity as part of their respective settlements. But because these huge global concerns make so much money out of selling drugs, these fines have apparently now become an in-built expense in the corporate cost of their drugs. Indeed in GSK’s 2012 case in the USA, nearly $30 billion was sold and where it was estimate that even after the $3 billion fine was deducted, a profit of $11 billion was made.

    Therefore it certainly appears that the accepted corporate environment that these giant corporations have structured internally for themselves has created these illegal activities and where it is of their own making and not predominantly the countries that they operate within – but I have to say though, that it does help if there is government and internal corruption to boot. But possibly the biggest sadness to date has to come out yet in India where over 20,000 of the poorest children in the world (between the ages of 10 and 14) have been used as human guinea pigs for Big Pharma – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20136654 . Indeed over the past seven years, nearly 2,000 trials have taken place in the country and the number of deaths increased from 288 in 2008 to 637 in 2009 to 668 in 2010, before falling to 438 deaths in 2011, the latest figures available. Therefore the drive for corporate profits has a very dark side to it and everyone should be fully aware of this fact. Apparently this is not a problem for big pharma and where vast profits and greed rise above human life itself. Governments just have to get to grips with these huge corporations and fine then not just a small percentage of their profits but all the estimated total profit. That is the only way that they will ever alter their corporate mind-set and strategic blue-print.

    Dr David Hill
    Chief Executive
    World Innovation Foundation

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