“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it”
– Upton Sinclair
A few days ago, I posted a link online to a publicly available document. This document is basically a legal writ (lawsuit/complaint), taken by Peter Humphrey, against the drug company GlaxoSmithKline.(see here)
The gist of Peter’s story with Glaxo has already been discussed in some previous posts, by Bob Fiddaman, on his Seroxat Sufferers Blog. Myself and Bob have been writing about the Seroxat scandal (and GSK’s nefarious conduct) for many years and we know each other quite well, so I am sure he won’t mind me using a summary from his posts, in order to explain some context for my own post on this.
Peter’s story of his experiences with Glaxo (documented in his legal complaint) is both intriguing and harrowing. It reads like something from John Le Carre’s ‘Constant Gardener’. The writ is fascinating, even just in terms of the depth of Glaxo’s dodgy conduct described, and the allegations alone are also shocking (but probably unsurprising for many Glaxo- observers) however, the most interesting part of his legal complaint (in regards to Glaxo’s conduct)- for me -is contained the following section:
Under the heading (on page 25) :
The Complaint states-
“…Witty argued, nonsensically, that the previous whistle-blower allegations were “quite different” from the more recent charges, saying, “they are two completely different sets of issues, we fully investigated the first and, of course, this has now surfaced in the last couple of weeks.”
This was a lie,
since “what surfaced” in the PSB investigation and raids of GSK offices in July was precisely the illegal activity that the whistleblower had documented and threatened to reveal in January…”
What I find fascinating about all of this is, whenever GSK get embroiled in a scandal- the company’s PR machine seems to think that the public will swallow any crap that they spew out in regards to their conduct. They don’t seem to realize that they have absolutely no credibility with the general pubic. They are proven liars, deceivers, felons, and fraudsters. The company has been proven time and time again to be nothing but utterly corrupt to the core.
So why should we believe anything they say?
In short, we shouldn’t.
If GSK was a living human individual, we would likely consider them to be a compulsive liar, a sociopath, and an utterly reprehensible person. For the amount of damage (and death) that they have caused over the past few decades, we’d lock them up for life and throw away the key. However GSK isn’t a human individual, it’s a corporate entity made up from a hundred thousand individuals with one man at the helm- the CEO- Andrew Witty.
Witty is the boss at GSK, therefore surely he is responsible for the GSK China bribery crisis because it happened under his watch? The document above seems to suggest that Witty (and indeed GSK) knew much more about the corruption in China, than has been admitted publicly, when it was first exposed.
It’s classic GSK behavior to deny and deflect the truth whenever a scandal occurs about the company. They have proven time and time again to be utterly untrustworthy so why would GSK’s China Bribe scandal be any different? or more to the point-why would GSK’s behavior be any different?..
In an interview with Evan Davis of the BBC, some months ago, Andrew Witty avoided Evan’s questions about GSK’s bribery network in China. Evan asked Mr Witty, in the China case, “was that normal behavior”?
(see clip here)
-“But you’re saying there are bad apples, and it goes wrong. Is that right, or is it – for example, in the China case. Was it that there was a bad apple and it went wrong, or was it that that was normal behaviour in certain markets, and it just got called out in that particular case?”
-“For obvious reasons, I’m not going to get into all the details of that.”
It’s interesting that Witty chose not to discuss if GSK’s massive bribery scandal in China was normal behavior?
GSK’s China bribe scandal is a can of worms that Witty could never publicly delve into. There’s too much at stake for him, and for Glaxo to ever discuss their abhorrent behavior in China, however that might all change soon…
Glaxo’s conduct in China is shocking, and utterly disgraceful, and it’s a can of worms that’s just about to spill open with the release of details in Peter Humphrey’s recent writ against them.
In Peter Humphrey’s complaint it is alleged:
– Between 2010-2013 GSK spent nearly $225 million on planning and travel services. Approx 44% of the sampled invoices were inflated and approximately 12% were for events that did not occur.
– GSK set up a special “crisis management” team in order to bribe Chinese regulators with money and gifts. A GSK executive attempted to bribe a Chinese investigator with an IPad and a lavish dinner. All bribes were approved by the head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly.
– GSK planned to suppress evidence of its illegal bribery activities.
– As far back as 2008, GSK China deliberately falsified its books and records in order to conceal its illegal practices in China. These included, bribery and promotion of drugs for purposes that have not been approved by the Chinese authorities.
– GSK paid a patient RMB 50,000, who nearly died after being given Lamictal off-label. Despite having knowledge of Lamictal causing near death in this patient, GSK still told its reps to promote the use of Lamictal for off-label purposes.
– GSK targeted ‘persuasive doctors’ in attempts to influence purchasing decisions at their hospitals. GSK are to said to have forged a connection with these doctors by taking them to expensive lunches and dinners and also giving them gifts and cash.
– GSK paid between 500 and 1,000 doctors to go on an all-expenses paid holiday to locations such as Brazil, India, Israel, Greece, Japan and Hungary. GSK covered all costs, including cash to cover meals and sight-seeing excursions. These were disguised by GSK as “Conference trips.”
– Head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly, received a bribe in the form of ‘sexual relations’ in return for passing business on to China Comfort Travel, a travel agency who organised ‘conference sevices’ for GSK.
– GSK paid doctors based on their prescription numbers.
– GSK’s senior legal counsel, Jennifer Huang, asked private investigator, Peter Humphrey, to investigate the Public Security Bureau and to prepare an analysis of the Chinese political regime. Huang told Humphrey that she wanted to find out who’s who regarding the team who were investigating GSK.
– Humphrey became concerned that GSK were trying to obstruct the investigation and declined to investigate state secrets.
– Humphrey was also asked, by GSK, to look into the Ministry of Public Security, the Economic Crimes Investigation Department regarding the relationship between them and the Public Security Bureau. Humphrey, once again, declined.
– Head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly, told Humphrey that the alleged whistleblower, Vivian Shi was “coming after him.” (Humphrey). Reilly then fled China the following day.
– GSK China told its employees to “destroy all non-compliant promotional materials and gifts.” They also implemented a new email system and deleted emails that were more than a year old. They claimed this was to “reduce unnecessarily legal costs.”…
Humphrey’s complaint against Glaxo is not just important in terms of how it further exposes Glaxo as a truly despicable, unethical, corrupt organization, but it must also be personally important for Peter too. Glaxo’s treatment of Peter and his wife throughout this whole debacle is extremely disturbing and sinister. (read the complaint here and see just how chilling Glaxo’s behavior is towards those who they consider utterly dispensable).
It’s obvious to me that Peter and his wife Yu Yingzeng were scapegoated by Glaxo. GSK’s top man in China Mark Reilly ran the bribery network, he was found guilty by the Chinese, but he got off, and he was sent back to the UK. Peter and Yu were imprisoned instead of Reilly. Their treatment in prison is deplorable, and their treatment by Glaxo, previous to their incarnation, during, and after has been equally bad.
I can relate to mistreatment from Glaxo, unfortunately I was prescribed one of their dangerous shoddy drugs (Seroxat), and if that horrific scandal is anything to go by, we should not be surprised at the depths that this horrible company will stoop in its pursuit of profits at the expense of human life…
“…The complaint, filed at the United States District Court in Philadelphia and made public on Wednesday, was brought by Peter Humphrey, who is British, and Yu Yingzeng, his wife, who is American.
The couple were detained in 2013 and found guilty by a Chinese court in 2014 after being asked by Glaxo to investigate a whistle-blower within the pharmaceuticals group.
They were convicted of illegally obtaining private records of Chinese citizens.
The couple said that Glaxo misled them by stating that the whistle-blower’s accusations of widespread corruption within the company were false. The company was fined a record 3 billion renminbi (nearly $500 million) in 2014 for paying bribes to doctors to use its drugs.”
It will be interesting to see how Peter Humphrey’s complaint against Glaxo progresses, and it will be even more interesting to see if Andrew Witty will be called forth as a witness if a trial occurs.
Perhaps the judge will ask Witty, what his definition of normal behavior is…
I guess we will have to wait and see.
However, in the meantime, I would like to ask Andrew Witty does he consider the following things ‘normal behavior’?
Was the off-label promotion of Seroxat/Paxil to teens (based on a bogus study-329) ‘normal behavior’ for Glaxo? (see here)
(For more examples of ‘normal’ Glaxo behavior see the hundreds upon hundreds of posts that I have posted about Glaxo on this blog for the past ten years- see the archives here)