Updated on 24 July 2013
AstraZeneca maintains that the swoop has nothing to do with the crackdown on bribery in the pharmaceutical industry in China
Singapore: Days after British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline faced allegations of a wide-ranging bribery scandal in China, the Chinese police have now arrested two AstraZeneca sales executives.
While AstraZeneca has maintained that the arrests have nothing to do with China's crackdown on the country's pharmaceutical industry, a sales executive from the company was detained last week, immediately after allegations were leveled out against GSK in China. This employee was released on July 23, but two senior employees, both district sales managers, one of who is an American citizen were taken by the police.
"We still have no reason to believe that this is connected to any other investigation. The information we are getting from the police is that this is an individual case, but we are still in the process of getting more information," AstraZeneca spokesperson said.
Further, immediately after a news report about the involvement of other drug majors like Sanofi, Novartis, Merck and Roche with the travel agency that revealed the entire GSK scandal came about, the companies said that they had stopped working with Shanghai Linjiang travel agency. The drug majors admitted that they had also used the travel agency through which GSK allegedly funnelled payments, even though neither of the companies have been accused of any wrongdoing.