A Chinese flag is hoisted in front of the GlaxoSmithKline building in Shanghai, China. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police have accused a British executive of drug maker GlaxoSmithKline’s China unit of ordering his salespeople to bribe doctors and hospital officials to use its products.

Wednesday’s announcement was the first time a foreign employee in China of British-based GSK was accused in connection with the bribery allegations against the company.

In a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency, police in the central city of Changsha said Mark Reilly was accused of pressing his sales team to bribe doctors, hospital officials and health institutions. It said that resulted in “illegal revenue” of billions of yuan (hundreds of millions of dollars).

The statement said Reilly and two Chinese executives also were accused of bribing government officials in Beijing and Shanghai.