China, Iraq, Poland, Jordan, Lebanon..
5 Countries under investigation for GSK bribes.. how many more?
GSK adds Jordan and Lebanon to bribery investigations list
British drugmaker is looking into allegations against two other Middle East units
GlaxoSmithKline has added Jordan and Lebanon to a growing list of countries where it is investigating allegations of bribery.
The British drug giant’s latest admission marks the third and fourth bribery investigations it has disclosed in the last ten days.
It said it is investigating allegations “regarding the activity of a small number of individuals” in its operations in Jordan and Lebanon, where it employs a combined 140 staff.
“We started investigating using internal and external teams as soon as we became aware of the claims,” said a company spokesman. “We have zero tolerance for unethical or illegal behaviour.”
Earlier this week, the company was forced to admit it found evidence of “inappropriate communication” by an employee in its Polish business. It said the employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a statement came as BBC’s Panorama claimed that a GSK regional manager, along with 11 doctors, had been charged in connection with alleged corruption in the country.
Around a week ago it emerged that GSK was investigating allegations of corruption against the company’s Iraqi arm, where it employs around 60 people. The company was accused of hiring government-employed doctors and pharmacists as paid sales representatives to boost sales of its products.
The recent disclosures add to the pressures of a major bribery scandal in China, where in July authorities accused the company of paying as much as £320m in bribes to win market share.
The company has admitted that its own investigation into the allegations unearthed evidence of wrongdoing by a handful of sales staff, but maintains they worked outside GSK’s control systems. It has called the allegations “shameful” and said it is cooperating with the ongoing Chinese investigation. The scandal has hit sales of GSK products in China, where it makes around 3pc of global revenues.