Tomahawk, WI 04/15/2014 (Basicsmedia) – It’s not like GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) is the only drug maker that has the tendency to get ensnared in corruption and bribery scandals. Other drug makers and companies in different sectors have had a chequered history in this regard.

Corporate Scandals

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is having a scandal in Mexico where it has reported $400 million in fraudulent loans. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was involved in a huge bribery scandal in Mexico uncovered by the New York Times in 2012.

Iraq Bribery Claims

But it’s not only in Mexico where bribery scandals happen. The Wall Street Journal has accessed emails that suggest alleged misconduct in Iraq that was reported by a whistleblower. According to these emails, Glaxo is said to have hired government doctors and pharmacists in Iraq as its own paid sales representatives. The relevant regulations that GSK might be in violation of include the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK’s Bribery Act. A Glaxo spokesman said that the company employs less than 60 people in Iraq. Clearly, the bribery scandal is likely to be smaller compared to the one in China from last year.

Bribery in China and Poland

For GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), Iraq is not the first instance of a foreign country where it is facing allegations of bribery. Last year, its sales staff in China were said to be involved in widespread bribery of doctors to prescribe GSK drugs. Glaxo’s sales staff were said to have lavished the doctors there with speaking fees and expensive dinners apart from cash payments and all-expenses-paid trips. Glaxo’s Chinese operations are much larger than its Iraq operations employing about 7,000 people and the size of the bribery scandal was as much as £320 million.

Elsewhere in Poland — the BBC’s Panorama program revealed on Monday — Glaxo employees were alleged to have bribed doctors in the Lotz region in Poland to prescribe its asthma drug. GSK has denied all these allegations and maintained that there is no pattern of wrongdoing here.

Diabetes Drug Approval

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) got Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its type 2 diabetes drug, Tanzeum (albiglutide). The once-weekly injectible drug got European approval last month where it will be known as Eperzan. The FDA has asked Glaxo to conduct further studies into the drug after its launch to test its dosing, efficacy/safety for children, heart-related risks and identify any medullary thyroid cancer related to it.

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