Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has come under fire in China for allegedly marketing Botox through improper practices, as well as being investigated for possible tax and invoice fraud.

The Wall Street Journal earlier this week reported that investigations are being carried out on the corporate behemoth for possible bribery and corruption, in a planned marketing strategy to boost sales in the emerging market. They claim to have seen evidence of emails targeted at 48 doctors which include cash and other incentives as a reward for prescribing Botox for therapeutic reasons.

The marketing strategy even took the name of a Russian World War II sniper, ‘Vasily’, after Vasily Zaytsev, with communication regarding the incentives supposedly sent to and from the private email addresses of GSK’s sales personnel.

GlaxoSmithKline have responded by announcing their own internal investigation and say initial findings show there has been no improper sales and marketing conduct carried out by sales staff at their organisation. A spokesperson for GSK in London announced:

“…we are investigating these new claims. However, our inquiries to date have found no evidence of bribery or corruption in relation to our sales and marketing of therapeutic Botox in China”

“GSK has some of the toughest compliance procedures in the sector. We are proud of our high standards and operate in accordance with them.”

GSK’s distribution of Botox in China is for therapeutic use (such as facial spasms) rather than cosmetic use ie. for the treatment of wrinkles.

Cosmetic Courses offer a wide range of aesthetic training courses to medical professionals. For information on any of our courses, contact the team on 01844 390110 or email [email protected].