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Glaxo getting squeezed by three countries for pharma marketing practices in China

After getting slapped by the U.S. in 2012 for its marketing practices, GlaxoSmithKline now is getting pummeled by China, the UK, and the U.S. which are investigating Glaxo for its pharma marketing practices in China.
Chinese authorities began the investigation earlier this year following allegations that Glaxo funneled over $450 million in bribes to doctors and officials across the globe.

The Chinese government is threatening to hit Glaxo with massive fines “after accusing the drug giant…of fostering an aggressive sales culture that indirectly encouraged widespread bribery on the mainland,” reports Reuters. Huang Hong, a China-based general manager for Glaxo, was quoted as saying the UK headquarters gave unrealistic annual sales growth targets of 25 percent, compared to the industry average of about 8 percent, which would put great pressure on sales staff to do whatever it takes to make those excessively high targets.


Meanwhile, the U.S. and UK are investigating Glaxo to determine whether Glaxo violated their respective anti-bribery laws. Since GSK is a British company and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, it must adhere to the laws of those countries even for business conducted elsewhere.

Glaxo paid $3 billion to the government in 2012 to settle whistle blower lawsuits alleging off-label marketing practices and a related criminal fine. The biggest portion of the settlement was due to a qui tam lawsuit brought by Phillips & Cohen. Glaxo’s payment was the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.

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