Chinese authorities accuse GSK of using bribery to boost sales

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is under investigation by Chinese authorities for alleged bribery and price fixing.

Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit at China's Ministry of Public Security, said an investigation was underway and that four senior company executives had been detained.

Authorities suspect GSK offered bribes to officials and doctors to try to boost sales and to raise the price of its medicines.

It is alleged they did so through travel agencies.

Gao said that since 2007 the company had transferred as much as 3 billion yuan to more than 700 travel agencies and consultancies.

"We have sufficient reason to suspect that these transfers were conducted illegally," he said. "You could say the travel agencies and GSK were criminal partners."

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