The boss of British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has said a “shameful” corruption scandal in China will inevitably impact its business, but he could not yet say by how much.
Andrew Witty spoke as Glaxo unveiled quarterly figures that were marginally better than the market had expected with worldwide sales up by a modest two percent.
The company has been struggling to grow in recent quarters due to loss of patent protection on some of its medicines and falling prices in austerity-mired Europe.
With regard to China, Glaxo said it believed the alleged bribery there involved senior Chinese staff who did an end run around internal controls and were potentially defrauding the company as well as cheating the Chinese healthcare system.
Witty stressed that head office did not know about the alleged activities involving bribes to use its medicines which he said were “totally contrary” to the company’s values.