British executive accused in China drug bribery

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Police accused a British executive of drug maker GlaxoSmithKline's China unit on Wednesday of ordering his salespeople to bribe doctors and hospitals.

The announcement was the first time a foreign employee in China of British-based GSK was accused in a sweeping investigation into possible misconduct by drug suppliers. Previously, police had said four Chinese managers were detained.

The British executive, Mark Reilly, is accused of operating a "massive bribery network" and pressing his sales team to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use its products, the police ministry said in a statement.

It said that resulted in "illegal revenue" of at least 1 billion yuan ($150 million).

Reilly and two Chinese executives also were accused of bribing government officials in Beijing and Shanghai, the ministry said.

Reilly was barred last year from leaving China, according to British news reports.

The case has been handed over to prosecutors, the police ministry said. It said possible charges include bribing nongovernment workers and bribing corporate units, while GSK might face charges of corporate bribery.