China has publically cracked down on its pharmaceutical sector after officials revealed that four China-based senior executives at British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline channelled millions of pounds in bribes through travel agencies and consultancies.
The Ministry of Public Security (PSB) said that the unnamed GSK executives routed 3bn yuan (£324m, €375m, $489m) in bribes to doctors through travel agencies and consultancies to illegally boost sales and to raise the price of its medicines in China.
While GSK has provided several statements about these are isolated allegations, a number of other firms have also fallen into the China regulatory spotlight. AstraZeneca, among a number of other foreign drug makers, are being probed by police.
However, experts have gleaned that this doesn’t come as a shock to them as China’s pharmaceutical industry is rife with bribery and fraud and that the repercussions from the scandal will echo back to the US.
Reuben Guttman is one of the world’s most prominent whistleblower attorneys and is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer. He has served as counsel in some of the largest recoveries under the False Claims Act and has recovered billions of dollars for the government from fraudulent mortgage assignments and a number of pharmaceutical firms.
In 2012, he represented one of the four main whistleblowers in a case against GSK that returned over $3bn to the government and here he speaks with IBTimes UK exclusively.