UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered.Eleven doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012. A former sales rep said doctors were paid to promote GSK's asthma drug Seretide.
The company said one employee had been disciplined and it was co-operating with investigations. If the allegations are proved, GSK may have violated both the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is illegal for companies based in either country to bribe government employees abroad.
In 2012, GSK paid $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history after pleading guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration. Last December, the company announced it was making major changes to its incentive schemes after a damaging corruption scandal in China. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has claimed that between 2007 and 2010 GSK funnelled three billion Chinese yuan (£300m) through travel agencies. More on this story here.
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