Glaxo: We'll Stop Paying Doctors to Hawk Our Drugs
It's a big change in pharma industry
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2013 7:29 AM CST
This April 28, 2010 file photo shows the GlaxoSmithKline offices in London.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

(Newser) – In what "appears to be a first for a major drug company," according to the New York Times, GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors to promote its drugs under a new plan to be completed by 2016. The company's pharmaceutical sales reps will also no longer be paid based on how many prescriptions doctors write for Glaxo drugs. The AP calls it "a major shift" for the British company, and it's one that basically ends two controversial practices in the industry. The move comes as China investigates Glaxo for allegedly giving illegal payments to doctors and officials in an attempt to boost sales of its products, but the CEO says the decision was not related to that investigation.

The new measures "are designed to bring greater clarity and confidence that whenever we talk to a doctor, nurse, or other prescriber, it is patients’ interests that always come first," he says in a statement. "We recognize that we have an important role to play in providing doctors with information about our medicines, but this must be done clearly, transparently, and without any perception of conflict of interest." (Full statement here.) While doctors will no longer be paid to speak on Glaxo's behalf at conferences or meetings, they will still be paid consulting fees for market research. One critic of the longstanding Big Pharma marketing practices says this is a step in the right direction, but notes that Glaxo will continue to hand out "unsolicited, independent education grants" to educate doctors about its drugs, which could be a cause for concern.

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Dec 17, 2013 1:59 PM CST
Introducing clandestine reciprocation for unofficial services rendered automatically raises the spectre of “conflict of interest”, and that is a serious legal matter! There is no guarantee that huge amounts of drugs were not misprescribed as a result of this./ More than that, drugs accompany diseases. In order to “justify” misprescribing a drug, a “doctor” can concoct a fraudulent “diagnosis” and this can lead the patient to any of a number of erroneous responses. Even if they go to another “doctor”, the white wall of silence, crooked “doctors” misprescribing drugs and treatments protecting other “doctors” doing the same, the patient could be subjected to huge risks. Frankly, this is a criminal case of misconduct and if there is not a wholesale cleaning of the house with huge numbers of criminal indictments of “doctors” and executives, then this is nothing more than show with nothing behind it. Yet another invalidation of the Obama anti Constitutional crime against the public that is the “healthcare” law. The law is supposed to deal with the high cost of care. If companies weren't bribing “doctors” to push drugs that patients didn't need, the patients wouldn't need care for the damage the misprescribed drugs caused, they wouldn't worsen from the treatment, the “doctors” wouldn't need to pay high premiums for the malpractice they engage in wholesale. If Obama really cared, he would spearhead a massive movement to rid the current “healthcare” racket of all the criminality. But Obama is nothing but a pro corporate criminality, anti Constitutional traitor since his forced consumption law is nothing more than a crime against the Constitution!
Dec 17, 2013 1:34 PM CST
I've been dealing with the free drug programs from both this and Novartis. This company is much easier to deal with than Novartis.
Dec 17, 2013 1:22 PM CST
And will they stop sending in slutty blonde bombshells to the doctor's office, as their "representative"?