GlaxoSmithKline says it has found no evidence of its employees in China paying bribes to doctors and hospitals, despite claims made by the country's Public Security Bureau.

The last couple of weeks has seen the drugs giant's activities in China  come under the spotlight and the PBS issued a statement talking about bribes being paid through travel agencies or as "project sponsorships". GSK is also suspected of being involved in tax-related crime, according to the ministry, which says that the offences have been occurring "for some time, involving a large number of people and significant amounts of money".

The PSB also claimed that some employees at GSK have already confessed to the offences. A GSK spokesperson told PharmaTimes World News that "we are aware of the statement from the PSB [and] we are willing to cooperate with the authorities in this inquiry".

The spokesperson noted that "this is the first official communication that has been published by the PSB in relation to the specific nature of its investigation. We take all allegations of bribery and corruption seriously. We continuously monitor our businesses to ensure they meet our strict compliance procedures".

However, "we have done this in China and found no evidence of bribery or corruption of doctors or government officials", said the spokesperson, noting that "if evidence of such activity is provided we will act swiftly on it".

Constant surveillance

Meantime, this morning, the Daily Telegraph has reported that at least 30 GSK employees, including five or six executives, are currently under house arrest and constant surveillance, quoting an unnamed source familiar with the situation.

Those held include the company's legal counsel in China, who has been cut off from communication with GSK's head office, the source claims. The newspaper says that GSK is locked in emergency meetings with its advisors over the situation and has hired Jun He, one of Beijing's leading law firms.