UPDATED: GSK found guilty of bribery in China, fined record $489 million
- Reuters reports that British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has been found guilty of bribing doctors in China to use the company's products.
- GSK will be charged with a record $3 billion yuan (approximately $489 million) fine.
- In addition, five former and current company executives -- including former GSK in China head Mark Reilly -- have been sentenced to prison terms of between two and four years. Reilly will be deported to his home country of England.
So ends GSK's strange trials and tribulations in China -- or so the company hopes. Overzealous GSK China employees have long been accused of paying off doctors with cash and travel expenses in exchange for use of the pharma giant's drugs.
The bribery verdict against the company and its executives required just one day of deliberations. GSK is likely to paint this as the closing chapter in an unfortunate, and distracting, side story as it continues to pursue an estimated $1 trillion pharmaceutical and healthcare market in China.
"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," said state-run news agency Xinhua, sometimes considered a mouthpiece for the Chinese government.
This doesn't end all of GSK' bribery woes, however. The company still faces charges of bribery and malfeasance in five other countries -- Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Poland.