Glaxo boss confesses in Chinese trial by television


Lucy Tobin
Wednesday 17 July 2013 00:32

One of GlaxoSmithKline’s top executives in China was filmed in a bedraggled state “confessing” to bribery claims at Britain’s biggest drugmaker on Chinese state TV.

Chinese police have accused the pharmaceuticals giant of being a “criminal godfather” and “ringleader” in a bribery scandal involving payments of 3bn yuan (£321m) to doctors and hospitals over the past six years, and arrested four GSK managers.

Liang Hong, GSK’s vice president of operations in China, appeared on one of the country’s flagship news programmes, unshaven and with dark shadows under his eyes, where he said: “Having spent time reflecting over the past couple of days, I think the money we spent to run our business was too much.

“All of these costs [of our bribery] were included in the price of the drugs. The money we spent running the business accounted for about 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the drug price.”

He said GSK had worked with Chinese travel agencies to host conferences for as many as 2000 people, with the events budgeted to cost more than 10m yuan, but claimed Glaxo executives had inflated those costs, then creamed off some of the excess cash to pay bribes to doctors and middlemen, with some kickbacks also retained by GSK executives.

Chinese officials claim that pushed up medicine prices in the country.

GSK declined to comment but has said: “We are reviewing all third-party agency relationships.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in