The GSK China bribery investigators are probably going to name several other significant foreign companies in the coming days and weeks. The State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) has already announced that investigations into several other pharmaceutical companies have begun. And authorities have visited three multinational drug companies.
This contagion is fairly normal and has been seen before.
However, at ethiXbase we decided to contact several other Asian anti-corruption enforcement agencies to get their view and opinion on this matter. It was quite clear from these conversations that all have taken note of this significant case. Another factor that came out is that the Chinese government action may have moved the thought processes of these agencies from large multinationals being ‘untouchable’ to being fair game.
This is significant far beyond the pharmaceutical industry. These agencies are fully aware of the mechanics of bribery and incentive schemes across many industries and segments.
As such it is our belief that anti-corruption agencies in Asia are highly likely to begin imposing far more aggressive regimes of enforcement — probably starting with the pharmaceutical industry and moving quickly beyond it.
Scott Graham is the CEO of ethiXbase. He was a founding partner in Asia’s largest pre-employment screening provider, Quest Research, which was acquired in 2005 by a NASDAQ-listed company. He was also a founding partner of the IntegraScreen Group, which grew to be one of the world’s largest providers of international due diligence services. The FCPA Blog is owned by ethiXbase. Scott can be contacted here.