|Marcel Woo |||Apr 04, 2014 10:29 AM EDT|
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceutical giant, said that it continues to investigate employees in China in relation to allegations of bribery, and vows to impose penalties to those who will be found breaking company rules.
In a statement, GSK said employees found guilty of violating company compliance rules will either be warned or dismissed, depending on the severity of their violations. Incentive pays for those who will be placed under investigation will also be put on hold.
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GSK's statement comes as the company last year was entangled in a more than US $400 million bribery scandal in China, where it allegedly gave overseas travel incentives to Chinese doctors.
The company did not disclose how many employees have been investigated and how many have been penalized so far, but sources told a Chinese newspaper that at least 1,000 medical representatives have been found violating the compliance rules and more than 150 GSK employees have already been dismissed by the pharmaceutical firm.
Late last month, medical representatives, who have been dismissed by GSK, rallied in front of the GSK's China headquarters in Shanghai after the company allegedly withheld their bonuses. GSK bonuses and incentive pays of those who are being investigated may be withheld.
Because of the bribery scandal, GSK said it cancelled sales quota for medical representatives and stressed that it will gradually stop giving financial packages to doctors invited to its medical conferences.
The bribery scandal resulted to a 61% decline in GSK's China sales in the third quarter of last year. The sales dive, however, eased to 18% in the following quarter, GSK said.
Despite the controversy, GSK said it will continue to be committed to China and will not leave the market despite talks of possible fines.
GSK said the pharmaceutical firm has a long history in China and will remain committed to China for the long term.
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