viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

GLAXO: Ahora hasta casi puede "perder en casa"...

(Reuters) - Britain's fraud office has launched a formal criminal investigation into GlaxoSmithKline, posing a new challenge to the drugmaker, which already faces claims of bribery in China and four other countries. 

 The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Tuesday that its director had "opened a criminal investigation into the commercial practices of GlaxoSmithKline and its subsidiaries", confirming an earlier brief statement from the company. 

"GSK is committed to operating its business to the highest ethical standards and will continue to cooperate fully with the SFO," Britain's biggest drugmaker said. 

Neither the SFO nor GSK gave any further details about the case, and a company spokesman declined to elaborate. 

The SFO action comes less than two weeks after Chinese police announced on May 14 that they had charged the former British boss of GSK's China business and other colleagues with corruption, after an investigation there found evidence of an elaborate scheme to bribe doctors and hospitals. 

 The case is the biggest corruption scandal to hit a foreign company in China since the Rio Tinto affair in 2009, which resulted in four executives, including an Australian, being jailed. 

The decision by the British fraud office does not come as a complete surprise, since lawyers and industry analysts had pointed out that allegations against GSK in overseas markets could expose it to charges under the UK Bribery Act. 

The new act, like the long-established U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, prohibits payments to government officials, including state-employed doctors, to obtain business overseas. 

U.S. authorities are already investigating British drugmaker for possible violations of U.S. anti-bribery laws in China, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last September.(Más)

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