Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has admitted that certain top executives appeared to have broken the law, as the company faces an investigation over multi-million bribery allegations in China.
The company also said it would cut medicine prices for Chinese patients in the wake of the scandal, in which funds were alleged to have been paid to doctors and health officials to boost sales and raise prices.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Abbas Hussain, GSK's president of emerging markets and Asia Pacific, said after a meeting with Chinese authorities over the weekend that some senior employees had acted outside of the firm's "processes and controls".
Meanwhile, another UK drugs firm, AstraZeneca, said its office in Shanghai had been visited by police though a spokeswoman said it appeared to be a local police matter related to a sales representative and not connected to any other investigations.
Mr Hussain flew to China to deal with the crisis which has seen four of GSK's executives questioned and Steve Nechelput, its finance director in the country, banned from leaving. It has already expressed its regret over the "shameful" allegations and said it had immediately stopped using travel agencies said to have been used to funnel the payments to recipients of bribes.
Mr Hussain said following the meeting with China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS): "GSK is taking this situation extremely seriously and that is why we are here. Certain senior executives of GSK China, who know our systems well, appear to have acted outside of our processes and controls which breaches Chinese law. We have zero tolerance for any behaviour of this nature."
Mr Hussain said the company shared the desire of Chinese authorities to "root out corruption wherever it exists" and that it would work with the MPS, taking "all necessary actions" as the investigation continued. He said GSK supported Chinese reforms to the medical sector.
He added: "We will actively look at our business model to ensure we make a significant contribution to meeting the economic, healthcare and environmental needs of China and its citizens. In addition, savings made as a result of proposed changes to our operational model will be passed on in the form of price reductions, ensuring our medicines are more affordable to Chinese patients."
A GSK spokesman declined to comment on whether Mr Nechelput's travel ban had been discussed during the meeting.
Meanwhile, another British national has been detained in China, reportedly as part of the investigation. GSK said the man, named in reports as Peter Humphrey, had never been an employee of the company. Mr Humphrey runs Hong Kong-based ChinaWhys, an investigation and risk consultancy that focuses on fraud and accounting for multi-national businesses operating in China, according to the Daily Telegraph. The reason for his detention remained unclear but he was understood not to have been formally arrested, the newspaper reported.
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The modern day sporting hero and winner of seven consecutive Tour de France competitions saw his reputation plummet last year when he was found guilty of doping and cheating his way through is career.
Armstrong was stripped of all his titles, ordered to return his prize money, and sponsors couldn't drop him quick enough. He is also being sued by teammates. It is estimated that it will cost him $125m.
After possibly one of biggest public meltdowns in history, the actor lost it with the creator of his TV series Two and a Half Men. His outburst together with outlandish behavior including alleged drug benders, porn stars and drink problems, lead to Sheen being fired from the show. He reportedly earned $1.25m per episode, meaning he lost $36m for the whole season.
At the height of her short career, teen star Lohan was commanding around $7.5m per movie at four movies per year. Yet the pressures of fame at a young age got to The Parent Trap and Mean Girls star, seeing her life spiral out of control as she became embroiled in allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, jewellery theft, and drunk driving. Her earnings quickly plummeted and remain he doldrums.
Singer Chris Brown's reputation became muddied in 2009 amid allegations of assault against his then girlfriend, pop diva Rhianna.
The alleged offense took place the night before both stars were set to perform at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Brown's arrest on felony charges and the brutal images of Rhianna's battered face, led to an huge media frenzy. Overnight, Brown went from whiter-than-white Wrigley's gum and milk spokesperson to the most loathed man in music.
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Dubbed 'Cocaine Kate' by the press, Chanel promptly dropped Moss from their advertising, as did fashion house Burberry and Swedish brand H&M. But Moss managed to recover quickly from the scandal and is now the face of Rimmel, Dior and Mango.
Infidelity cost the golf star more than his marriage and a staggering $100 million divorce settlement – shaving brand Gillette was one of many brands to pull its endorsements following the incident in 2009. Woods also lost deals with Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture following the scandal.
Photos of the Olympic swimmer smoking a marijuana pipe saw Kellogg's pull its sponsorship of the sports star to protect their brand images. Phelps also received a suspension from competition and USA Swimming pulled financial support for three months.
Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho was axed from his Coca-Cola sponsorship deal after appearing with a can of Pepsi during a press conference at Atletico Minerio. The mistake cost the star £1 million in unpaid earnings as his £500,000 per-year contract was set to run until 2014.
While serving as president, Bill Clinton became embroiled in an embarrassing high profile scandal that looked set to cost him his career. The former president was accused of having sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky and harassment charges against Paula Jones.
Clinton was acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice charges and made a public apology, which only served to strengthen his reputation. He went on to serve two presidency terms and left the office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II.