GSK investigates bribery claims in the Middle East

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been accused of bribing doctors and healthcare officials in Iraq in emails leaked to the Wall Street Journal by a whistleblower.

The whistleblower claimed in emails that GSK had put 16 doctors and pharmacists in Iraq on its payroll as sales staff while they continued working for the government full time. They also alleged that one emergency care physician had insisted on prescribing GSK drugs even when they weren’t available at the hospital pharmacy, despite competitor products being in stock, and said that the firm had also paid for doctors and their families to go to conferences overseas.

GSK has said it is taking the allegations seriously, and has launched an investigation covering ‘several countries and business units’ in the region. Chinese authorities, meanwhile, continue to investigate the GSK corruption scandal in which several members of staff have been arrested over allegations that the company used over £300 million to bribe doctors and health officials in China.

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