Big Pharma Fined $489 Million for Bribing Doctors

This is probably the first and only in China where Corporations have no clout in its internal affairs.

Here in the Philippines, drugs are priced 300% higher than its neighbors, 30% of which goes to “marketing”, e.g. doctors annual conventions.

China hands drugmaker GSK record $489 million fine, sentences executives

SHANGHAI/LONDON Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:17am EDT

The logo of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seen on its office building in Shanghai July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song
The logo of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seen on its office building in Shanghai July 12, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

(Reuters) – China fined GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) a record 3 billion yuan ($490 million) on Friday for paying bribes to doctors to use its drugs, underlining the risks of doing business there while also ending a damaging chapter for the British drugmaker.

A court in the southern city of Changsha also sentenced Mark Reilly, the former head of GSK in China, and other GSK executives to between two and four years in jail, according to state news agency Xinhua.

However, Briton Reilly, shown on state television wearing a suit and looking tired during the trial, will be deported and will not face jail time in China, a source with direct knowledge of the case said.

“Reilly will be deported so he won’t be in detention in China,” said the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the case.

The verdict, handed out behind closed doors in a single-day trial according to Xinhua, highlights how Chinese regulators are increasingly cracking down on bad behavior.

However, it also offers GSK a potential way forward in the fast-growing Chinese pharmaceutical market, a magnet for foreign firms who are attracted by a healthcare bill that McKinsey & Co estimates will hit $1 trillion by 2020.

“If GSK China can learn a profound lesson and carry out its business according to the rule of law, then it can once again win the trust of China’s government and people,” Xinhua said in a commentary.

Xinhua closely reflects China’s official government view.

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4 thoughts on “Big Pharma Fined $489 Million for Bribing Doctors”

  1. Reblogged this on Alternativeaction Blog and commented:
    Not good enough. Arrest all the directors put them on trial with a proper jury, pass a long prison sentence on the guilty and fine the Corporation a few billion, then the people might get a bit of justice. Gordon Bennett how hard can this be.
    Teach these untouchable directors a lesson that they will not forget. Act even handed or there is no rule of law, oops sorry I forgot there is no rule of law.

  2. Still no where near good enough. Corporations are just pieces of paper given life by real living men and women who make the decisions. I’ve tried commanding paper and do you know what, the paper just ignores me, conclusion the paper cannot obey any commands it is dead.

    The directors of these corporations local or international are the people that make the decisions and the buck stops at them, they are paid really good money to know what’s going on within their organisation.

    These directors are all real live people who hide behind the Corporate veil when they direct other people to break the law and do unforgivable things, this has to stop.

    Suffice to say, it is the directors who should go to court in their capacity of a living man or woman to be tried for offences their organisation is involved with, they carry the can so how about putting the guilty into prison just like would happen to anyone else who broke the law and also fine the Corporation a billion or two for the damage they have caused.

    If these International Corporations are too big to follow the law then there is no law and the world is going to reap the reward of allowing lawlessness to prevail, but we all know that profit is above real people you only have to look at the Fracking in the UK to realise that.

    This has to stop right now as the level of lawlessness in these Corporations which include governments is beyond gigantic

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