GlaxoSmithKline on Friday agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for what authorities called a pay-to-prescribe scheme in China. In doing so, Glaxo becomes the latest global drug maker to face such accusations as part of a long-running probe by US authorities into companies that paid bribes overseas in order to boost sales of their medicines.

The settlement is an outgrowth of the bribery scandal that rocked Glaxo and resulted in a $490 million fine two years ago after a Chinese court found the company guilty of bribing doctors, hospital officials, and other non-governmental personnel. The former head of the Glaxo unit in China also pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges and was given a three-year suspended sentence.

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