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Chinese police say Glaxo employees bribed doctors

BEIJING — China accused executives of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline of conducting a long-running bribery campaign to persuade doctors to prescribe drugs.

GSK employees are accused of paying ‘‘large bribes’’ laundered through travel agencies to doctors, hospitals, and others to ‘‘to open new sales channels and increase drug revenues,’’ the Public Security Ministry said.

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They also are suspected of tax offenses, the ministry said. It identified the employees only as ‘‘high officials’’ of the British company and gave no details of the size of payments or who received them.

‘‘After questioning, the suspects confessed to the crime,’’ the statement said.

GSK said that it would cooperate with the authorities but said Thursday’s announcement was the first official communication it has received about the investigation.

‘‘Corruption has no place in our business,’’ said a company statement. ‘‘If evidence of such activity is provided we would of course act swiftly on it.’’

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