Major scandal forces GSK to revisit incentive schemes

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

The Pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is making major changes to its incentive schemes. This follows a major scandal that erupted in China that allegedly involved corruption according to BBC news reports. According to reports, the Chinese police said GSK had transferred 3bn yuan ($489m; £321m) to travel agencies and consultancies to help bribe doctors.

As a result, the pharmaceuticals firm will stop paying doctors to promote its products through speaking engagements. This also has implications for commercial presentations at trade shows and other networking meetings. Targets for sales representatives will also no longer be used as a benchmark for performance.

News reports suggest that GSK has denied that the restructuring of its incentive scheme is in any way related to the ongoing investigation but says that the measures are part of efforts to improve transparency and accountability across the board.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, said, “Whilst we agree that GSK should not directly sponsor doctors going to meetings, we are satisfied that they will continue to financially support education. It is pleasing to see a large pharmaceutical company like GlaxoSmithKline recognise that it can reduce the possibility of undue influence by rewarding employees for providing high-quality information and education for doctors, rather than for their sales figures.”

Instead, GSK will devise a new system which allows universities and other independent bodies to request a grant if they require a particular doctor to attend a conference.

An issued GSK statement says that sales representatives will be rewarded for “technical knowledge” and the “quality of the service they deliver to support improved patient care” as well as the overall performance at GSK.

Leave a Comment

Security Question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Powered by WordPress