On Tuesday evening the Serious Fraud Office revealed it was looking into the drugs giant's 'commercial practices', a clear reference to allegations the group bribed doctors and officials in
The scandal blew up last year when Chinese authorities accused the
In August four senior GSK China executives were arrested amid allegations the business used more than 700 travel agencies to funnel bribes to doctors, hospital officials and other medical professionals to boost the sale of medicines.
Among the claims were that GSK used 'sexual bribery', offering prostitutes to doctors to help persuade them to prescribe its drugs.
Further allegations have since surfaced that GSK paid bribes to doctors in
GSK boss Sir
Local police this month charged executive
The involvement of the SFO means Witty and GSK could face prosecution under the
GSK said it was 'committed to operating its business to the highest ethical standards' and would 'continue to co-operate fully with the SFO'.
It can probably claim mitigation if it can prove it had robust policies and procedures in place that were circumvented by rogue employees.
The US is already looking into the company for possible violations of its laws in
The SFO has appealed for whistleblowers with knowledge of GSK's practices overseas to come forward.
Even if the group does face a fine or ban, it is unlikely to suffer lasting damage –
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