Found guilty of bribing doctors and hospitals, China fines GSK for $490 million.
China has fined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $490 million, a record penalty, for bribing doctors and hospitals to promote its products. Found guilty by a court in Changsha on September 19, 2014, former head of GSK’s China operations, Mark Reilly, faces a suspended three-year prison sentence, as well as deportation.
It was in July 2013 that Chinese authorities announced their investigation of the MNC. Since then, the company has been found to have made illegal profits amounting to $150 million.
Since the verdict, GSK has published a statement of apology to the Chinese government and its people. The company has been in China for about a century now, and will continue to invest directly in the country to aid the government’s healthcare reform long-term plans for economic growth.
The company has made future commitments of investing in science and improving access to medicines across China through expansion of production and introducing flexible pricing,
This is not the first time GSK has faced a scandal overseas. In 2012, the company was found guilty of bribing doctors, encouraging sales reps to mis-sell antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for children, as well as paying medical journals for publishing promotional matter in the US. Despite being fined for $3 billion two years ago, GSK still needs to re-work its ethics barometer across oceans.