Eli Lilly dragged into Chinese bribery scandal

Julian Harris
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AMERICAN pharma giant Eli Lilly yesterday became the latest firm to be dragged into the scandal over alleged bribes in China.

Illegal payments are claimed to have been widespread at Eli Lilly according to a report in a Chinese newspaper – the 21st Century Business Herald – that cites an anonymous former senior manager at the firm. It says 30m yuan (£3m) in bribes were handed out over a period of around one a year from 2011 to 2012.

“Although we have not been able to verify these allegations, we take them seriously, and we are continuing our investigation,” Eli Lilly said in response to the claims.

The scandal began earlier in the summer and has resulted in several GlaxoSmithKline executives being arrested by Chinese authorities.

Swiss giant Novartis has also launched an internal investigation after claims made in the media.

And on Monday this week a British man, Peter Humphrey, was arrested. Humphrey runs ChinaWhys, a consultancy he founded to advise firms on the threat of fraud in China.