China charges ex-Glaxo exec with corruption

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CHINA yesterday charged the former head of Glaxosmithkline’s operations in the country with corruption after a 10-month investigation into payments made to medical staff.

Mark Reilly stepped down from his role at the pharmaceutical giant and left China when the probe was announced in July 2013, but returned several months later to help with the investigation.

China’s official news agency Xinhua said yesterday that police had handed the case concerning 46 suspects, including Reilly, to prosecutors.

Reilly is accused of pushing his sales team to bribe hospitals and doctors to generate illegal revenues worth billions of renminbi, Xinhua added.

Glaxo officials met with the ministry of public security in China yesterday. “We take the allegations that have been raised very seriously. They are deeply concerning to us and contrary to the values of GSK,” the firm said in a statement. “We will continue to fully co-operate with the authorities in this matter. We want to reach a resolution that will enable the company to continue to make an important contribution to the health and welfare of China and its citizens.”

The FTSE 100 firm reported in October that quarterly drugs sales in China were down 61 per cent in the wake of the bribery probe, but insisted that there was “absolutely no question” of the firm leaving the country.

Shares in the company yesterday closed down 13.5p at 1,623.5p, a drop of 0.82 per cent.

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