A corruption investigation in China has led authorities to take into custody an unknown number of employees of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical makers.
On Friday, law enforcement agencies in the Chinese city of Changsha announced that workers for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had been detained in connection with allegations of “economic crimes.” Chinese police did not reveal the number of GSK employees being held or if any had been officially charged with crimes, the Wall Street Journal notes.
The company has been investigating claims that its Chinese sales teams had bribed physicians with cash and expensive perks to prescribe its drugs to patients. The allegations, which cover 2004 to 2010, were sent to GSK from an anonymous source via emails to senior management.
U.S. regulators have been looking into possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to Chinese pharmaceutical sales since 2010.
In a statement issued on Monday, GSK indicated that it knew about the detentions of workers in China, but had no further information. The company said it would cooperate with Chinese authorities during any investigation.
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline rose almost 1% in Tuesday morning trading.