Shanghai AstraZeneca employee questioned amid GSK probe

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 5:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 July, 2013, 10:56am

Chinese police have visited the Shanghai office of British drugmaker AstraZeneca, the latest foreign firm to be investigated following allegations against GlaxoSmithKline.

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman said on Monday that police had visited on Friday and taken away one employee for questioning.

China has accused GSK, Britain’s biggest drug maker, of bribing officials and doctors to boost sales and raise the price of its medicines, marking a hardening stance against malpractice by multinationals operating in the country.

GSK said in a statement on Monday that some of its executives in China appeared to have broken the law.

Officials from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) also visited Belgian drug maker UCB last week and a UCB spokesman said they were investigating other drug companies with operations in China.

SAIC is one of China’s anti-trust regulators in charge of market supervision, which also looks into low-level bribery cases.