Financial News

  • 7 April 2014, 7:06

GSK Sacks Workers Over China Bribe Probe

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has sacked staff in China amid an investigation into allegations of corruption.

A small number of staff has been affected, after an investigation was launched into expense payments.

The company employs around 7,000 people in China.

The staff involved failed to comply with expenses rules, according to sources.

A spokesman told Sky News: "GSK is committed to operating to the highest standards in every part of our business. As such we routinely monitor and check expenses claims to ensure they adhere to our policies.

"Since the start of the investigation by the authorities, we have increased this monitoring in China.

"Where we have found potential issues, we are thoroughly reviewing them and have withheld incentive payments where appropriate."

The dismissals come after accusations that GSK funnelled nearly £300m to Chinese doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines.

The Chinese announcement last year saw the company's sales in the country drop by around a third.

The close scrutiny of Britain's biggest drug firm was part of a tightening of regulation on foreign firms operating in China.

In 2012, GSK dismissed 312 staff for policy violations worldwide, according to its annual corporate responsibility report, of which 56 were in China.