Glaxo hit with new allegations of bribes to Syrian doctors and officials

Pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline has new allegations that it bribed Syrian doctors and officials to spike sales of its medicines in that country, according to Reuters News Service. The latest charges were detailed in an anonymous email sent to the company’s top managers last week and viewed by Reuters.

Glaxo is one of the few big firms still supplying drugs in Syria and it has now suspended relations with Syrian distributors pending results of its investigation. The latest assertion follows revelations about Glaxo concerning similar bribery claims against the company in Jordan, Lebanon and Poland, and China.

The new corruption claims involve alleged bribes paid to boost sales of various medicines, including ones to treat cancer and to prevent blood clots.

The email cited names and dates of alleged illicit payments, including the case of a Syrian doctor who personally received between $200 and $300 a month in free samples in exchange for ordering GSK drugs for his hospital and rejecting rival ones.

The email also accused the company of bribing officials at Syria’s Ministry of Health to obtain vaccines for illegal resale and said the company had stored them in an unapproved facility.

A recently introduced U.S. government program provides cash incentives for whistleblowers to report corporate malpractice, including breaches of the FCPA. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.