LONDON, April 4 GlaxoSmithKline, facing
allegations of bribery in China, has dismissed some employees in
the country over failure to comply with expenses rules, a person
familiar with the situation said on Friday.
Britain's biggest drugmaker declined to detail the move but
confirmed it had stepped up monitoring of expenses claims,
resulting in action being taken against some employees.
The closer staff surveillance in China follows accusations
by Chinese authorities in July that GSK funnelled up to 3
billion yuan ($483 million) in expenses to doctors and officials
to encourage them to use its medicines.
"We routinely monitor and check expenses claims to ensure
they adhere to our policies. Since the start of the
investigation by the authorities, we have increased this
monitoring in China," a company spokesman said.
"Where we have found potential issues, we are thoroughly
reviewing them and have withheld incentive payments where
The company declined to specify the number of staff
involved in the crackdown but the source familiar with the
matter said it was a very small proportion of the company's
total workforce in the country of around 7,000.
GSK has previously said some of its senior Chinese
executives appeared to have broken the law. It has also said it
has zero tolerance for bribery, calling the allegations in China
The corruption claims have taken a toll on GSK's business in
China which, through small, had been growing fast.
Before the scandal, GSK's China sales had risen 14 percent
year-on-year in the three months to end-June, but revenue in the
country plunged 61 percent in the third quarter and 29 percent
in the final quarter of 2013.
($1 = 6.2107 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)