GlaxoSmithKline CEO says update expected shortly on Chinese bribery probe

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said Monday that the company will announce "quite soon" an update on the ongoing investigation into allegations against the company of corruption in China. Company spokesman Simon Steel noted that Witty's first visit to the country since the scandal broke in July is "an important opportunity to show our continued commitment to China and to supplying our medicines to the country."

Chinese authorities have accused GlaxoSmithKline of funnelling up to 3 billion yuan ($492 million) to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to boost its drug sales and the company has previously said that some of its senior executives may have violated the country's law. A recent report suggested that the investigation is expected to be concluded in early December, with charges likely to be made against some executives but not GlaxoSmithKline itself.

In October, the company said that third-quarter sales of prescription drugs and vaccines plummeted 61 percent in China as a result of the bribery probe.

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