GSK were investigated for bribing Saddam Hussein’s regime with kickbacks back in 2007, however the investigation seems to have disappeared after making headline news at the time…
Apart from the report on kickbacks in 2007, there was also a report from 2013 detailing a case where GSK are mentioned in conspiring with Hussein’s regime, the case was struck out on technicalities in the US court… In other words… they got away with it.. (no surprise there then!)…
An Iraqi lawsuit accusing more than 90 companies of conspiring with Saddam Hussein’s regime to frustrate the United Nations’ program, and depriving Iraqis of roughly $10 billion of essential aid, has been dismissed by a court in New York. (See more here)
This from 2007:
Firms accused of bribing Saddam to be investigated by fraud office
· Kickbacks ‘enabled Iraqi leader to amass $1.8bn’
- The Guardian, Wednesday 14 February 2007
The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into allegations that a number of major UK-based firms paid bribes to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The firms being targeted include the drug giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly.
And from 2008:
The drugs company, which has been the almost exclusive supplier of medicines and vaccines to Iraq’s ministry of health for over 20 years, is setting up a manufacturing base in the country.
The agreement with local firm Modern Drug Industries will see GSK medicines packaged and manufactured at their Baghdad facilities.
With an increasing number of international pharmaceutical companies vying for business in Iraq, GSK hopes that establishing a secondary local manufacturer will provide a significant advantage when competing for tenders in future.
GSK said producing drugs closer to the customer would improve their cost base and enable them to sell products on at an “access price”.
The company said it also has plans to open its first private business in the country since the invasion by year-end and will be hiring a “significant number” of local staff.
Iraq remains a dangerous place to live and do business due to ongoing violence and political instability. But that isn’t stopping impatient investors anxious to take part in the nation’s rebuilding. GlaxoSmith Kline (GSK), Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with Modern Drug Industries, an Iraqi company, to manufacture and package drugs in Baghdad.
GSK has been the Iraq Ministry of Health’s main supplier of vaccines and other medicines for more than 20 years. Now GSK plans to be the first pharma giant to enter the Iraq market since the 2003 invasion.
Harrington Investments Divests From GlaxoSmithKline (2007)
August 29, 2007 — admin
August 29, 2007
Contact: Jack Ucciferri
(707) 257-7923 Fax
(707) 252-6166 Voice
Harrington Investments Divests From GlaxoSmithKline
Cites Litany of Concerns
Napa, CA – Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), a socially responsible investment (SRI) advisory firm, announced today that it has divested from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) stock.
“In accordance with our long term investment management style, we would prefer to remain invested in GSK,” said John Harrington, President and CEO of Harrington Investments. “However, we have a fiduciary duty to our clients that includes a comprehensive review of a corporation’s overall operations and reputation.”
In a letter to GlaxoSmithKline CEO, Jean-Pierre Garnier, Harrington listed six points of concern with the company, including investigations for shady business dealings with Saddam Hussein, improper marketing of anti-depressants, and tax avoidance.
The letter also cited GSK’s inability to address the concerns of animal rights activists and its resistance to providing affordable AIDS drugs to developing countries.
The list concludes: “On a lighter note, we are bemused that GSK – one of the largest drug makers in the world – was recently ‘busted’ by two 14-year-old schoolgirls for wildly exaggerating the quantity of vitamin C present in a popular children’s fruit drink! Unfortunately, however, this action on the part of GSK continues to undermine your company’s reputation and your management’s credibility.”
Like many SRI firms, HII proactively avoids, or ‘screens out,’ stocks of corporations with significant negative environmental, social, and/or corporate governance (ESG) issues. Once it decides to purchase shares in a company, HII generally tries to work with corporate management to improve ESG performance.
HII’s divestiture of GSK stock is a reaction to corporate management’s consistent failure to address important investor fiduciary concerns.
Research and Advocacy Director (RAD)
Harrington Investments, Inc.