- GlaxoSmithKline is reportedly investigating allegations a subsidiary in Yemen bribed government officials to promote its drugs and influence decision making, Stat reports. Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. are also probing the company for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (in the U.S.) and the Bribery Act (in the U.K.)
- According to the report from Stat, GSK employees in Yemen were told to keep documents related to payments made to the government, along with papers tied to its breast cancer drug Tykerb.
- A number of other companies, including GSK, have had to face bribery investigations in foreign markets of the past several years. Notably, GSK was forced to pay a nearly $500 million fine in China for bribing doctors, hospitals, and other non-governmental personnel.
While the GSK case in China was certainly the most notable in recent years, just last month reports surfaced of Novartis paying to get drugs listed on Turkish formularies and duck price cuts.
South Korean authorities are separately looking into alleged illegal behavior by Novartis in that country, and the Swiss drugmaker recently paid $25 million to settle charges in China.
The list continues. Bristol-Myers Squibb has changed its approach in China, reportedly ending payments to doctors after settling bribery allegations with the SEC last year.
Enforcing unified standards of business conduct across scores of foreign subsidiaries presents a major challenge for large multinational pharmaceutical companies. Not only do the fines and settlements add up, continued bribery scandals can deal reputation harm to the parent company.
Glaxo did not return a request for comment by press time.