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Reuters has reported that GSK has once again come under scrutiny, this time for bribing Syrian doctors and officials in an effort to boost sales of its medicines.
The allegations were reportedly provided in an anonymous email sent to Andrew Witty, GSK's chief executive, and Judy Lewent, chair of GSK's audit committee. Although the corruption involved "relatively small sums of money" — Reuters reported that one doctor received $200–$300 a month in free samples in exchange for "ordering GSK drugs for his hospital and rejecting rival ones" — the accusations do little to boost the already tarnished reputation of GSK.
The email also accused GSK of "bribing officials at Syria's ministry of health to obtain vaccines for illegal resale", which were stored in an "unapproved" facility.
A GSK spokesman said that all the claims set out in the email will be thoroughly investigated. "We are committed to taking any disciplinary actions resulting from the findings. We have suspended our relationship with our distributors in the country pending the outcome of our investigation."
GSK's ethical standards have already been questioned in China, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Poland.