GlaxoSmithKline executive banned from leaving China


A senior British executive at GlaxoSmithKline in China has been banned from leaving the country amid a probe into the UK drugmaker over allegations of bribery.

GSK confirmed that Steve Nechelput, its finance director, has not been able to leave China since the end of June.

Nechelput had not been detained or questioned by police, and he is free to move around the country, the company said.

GSK’s general manager for China, Mark Reilly, is said to have left the country for the UK last month.

Chinese authorities have taken into custody four Chinese executives in connection with a probe over accusations that GSK had funnelled money through travel agencies to bribe government officials, doctors and hospitals in order to boost sales and prices of their drugs, reports Financial Times.

GSK on Monday said it was cooperating fully with the investigation and was “deeply concerned and disappointed by these serious allegations”.

The development came as Chinese authorities threatened to widen the investigation beyond GSK to other foreign pharmaceutical companies.

China’s commerce ministry vowed to crackdown on “any form of commercial bribery”.