LONDON, July 23 GlaxoSmithKline said on
Tuesday it had faced problems with drug research in China in the
past but these shortcomings had now been fixed, following
internal changes and the sacking of its China R&D head in June.
Britain's biggest drugmaker, which is facing charges of
corrupt sales practices in China, said a 2011 internal audit
into its Shanghai research and development (R&D) centre had
highlighted a number of deficiencies.
However, a follow-up audit a year later had awarded the
highest possible rating to the company's Chinese research
facility, where neurology drugs are developed, a company
Last month GSK dismissed its R&D head in China, Jiangwu
Zang, after discovering that a scientific study by some Chinese
staff contained a misrepresentation of data. The results of the
study, involving an experimental multiple sclerosis treatment,
were written up and published in the journal Nature Medicine,
prompting GSK to seek a retraction of the paper.
Although this episode was not related to the 2011 R&D audit,
GSK said it underlined its readiness to take prompt action when
there were problems.
"Where we find that systems or controls need to be
strengthened, or individual misconduct has occurred, we take the
appropriate corrective action or disciplinary action as quickly
and decisively as possible", the spokesman said.
The problems from two years back at GSK's Shanghai research
centre were highlighted on Tuesday by the New York Times, which
said it had received a confidential document from November 2011
detailing faults discovered at the time.
GSK's head of emerging markets, Abbas Hussain, said on
Monday that some of its executives in China appeared to have
broken the law in the bribery scandal and he promised changes to
lower the cost of medicine in the country.
GSK's chief executive, Andrew Witty, is expected to address
the company's problems in China when he presents second-quarter
results at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.