The Chinese pharma crackdown just keeps on widening. Now, a U.S. citizen has been detained in connection with the corruption probe, Reuters reports. And two more AstraZeneca employees have been interviewed after a sales rep was taken in for questioning late last week.
GlaxoSmithKline may be suffering through a corruption scandal in China, but that hasn't interfered with its plans to team up with a Chinese company on vaccines. Its talks with potential partners are still on track, Christophe Weber, GSK's vaccines chief, told Bloomberg.
In the latest blow to its China operations, The New York Times has ferreted an internal audit from two years ago that found significant ethical breaches at the London-based drug giant's R&D center in Shanghai.
The public health push to vaccinate both boys and girls against human papillomavirus has been hindered by a lack of studies showing that the jabs prevent forms of cancer other than cervical. Now data on throat cancer are emerging a week after an anal disease study.
Merck's Gardasil is the only one FDA-approved for use in males as well as females; GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix is approved for girls and women.
While GlaxoSmithKline and Roche have taken steps to make clinical trial data publicly available, some within the industry remain resistant to greater transparency. And a leaked memo shows they are devising strategies to counter European proposals for a public database.
Sent to deal with the developing case personally, emerging markets chief Abbas Hussain met with ministry officials--and reportedly apologized to them. Afterward, Hussain admitted that top execs had probably breached Chinese law. And then, adding a sweetener to his mea culpa, Hussain promised changes that would cut the prices of his company's drugs in China.
Police visited AstraZeneca's operations in Huangpu Friday and took a sales rep away for questioning, Reuters reports. The company said the visit was part of a "local police matter" and tried to distance itself from the fast-moving GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal.
Given that China is preventing a top GlaxoSmithKline exec from leaving the country as it investigates alleged bribery in the country, it seems risky to send more of his colleagues into the fray. But that is what the British drugmaker is doing, even as the probe widens to other companies.
In the midst of investigating GSK for bribery, Chinese officials confined GSK finance chief Steve Nechelput to the country at the end of June, Reuters reports. His boss, China general manager Mark Reilly, got out on June 27, Bloomberg reports, citing Chinese officials.