“…GSK’s 2013 ban on paying doctors came amid a major bribery investigation in China, which landed it with a record fine, and was part of an effort by former chief executive Andrew Witty to improve the company’s reputation.
There was speculation at the time that other companies would be forced to follow suit, but in the event that did not happen.
Witty was replaced as CEO in 2017 by Emma Walmsley, who has brought a sharp commercial focus to operations, including a drive to reallocate resources to priority new medicines.
In addition to payments for speaking engagements, the updated GSK policy also allows for reasonable travel costs for medics to attend company-organized meetings – except in the United States – and registration fees for remote congress webinars and webcasts….”
Interesting case from 2011 (see below) involving drug reps suing Glaxo for overtime. This document gives a good insight into the culture of GSK at this time. Timely piece, considering Glaxo have decided to backtrack on their promises not to pay physicians to speak for the company (I wonder did Emma Walmsley make that decision?). Obviously profits must always come before ethics with Glaxo- we couldn’t have it any other way with them could we?
Basically this kind of thing is legalized bribery, that’s the job of a drug rep- to legally bribe/persuade a doctor to prescribe Glaxo drugs over competitors. Glaxo has everyone bribed (legally). From the key opinion leaders in the psychiatric profession- through money for talks etc (and every other medical specialty), to universities (sponsorship of research/bursaries, academic departments), lawfirms (glaxo spends billions on legal fees, and it has a legal war chest that can crush anyone and often it does – see Eric Holder fiasco), regulators (revolving door between industry and FDA/MHRA – see Ian Hudson fiasco), Charities (Well Child etc), many lords, and MP’s, and other high level business elites have stocks and shares in Glaxo (vested interests at high levels), the media (sponsorship of journalists prizes for pro-industry slanted articles etc- see Ben Goldacre fiasco).
The list is endless. The Pharmaceutical industry has every facet bought. They have endless cash reserves to bribe every corner of society.
Anyhow, here’s snippets from the document (click on the link for full read):
PSRs also try to build business relationships with physicians, respond to their concerns, and recruit them to attend Glaxo-organized dinners and conventions.
PSRs usually work outside of a Glaxo office and spend much of their time traveling to the offices of, and working with, physicians within their assigned geographic territories. Plaintiffs visited between eight and ten physicians each day, usually between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Plaintiffs claim that they worked between ten and twenty hours each week outside of normal business hours, for which they received no overtime wages. When not making calls on physicians, Plaintiffs studied Glaxo products and relevant disease states, prepared new presentation modules, answered phone calls, checked email, generated reports, and attended events on evenings and weekends.
Before a PSR makes his or her daily calls, Glaxo provides him or her with detailed reports about the physicians he or she will visit. These reports include information about a physician’s prescribing habits and drug preferences, the market volume of Glaxo products prescribed by the physician versus the volume of competitor products, and the volume of prescriptions filled in a particular region. Glaxo also provides each PSR with a budget to use for speaker programs and to engage socially with physicians.
Glaxo prepares and provides information about its products-called “Core Messages”-for PSRs to present to physicians during calls. Core Messages include information about product benefits and risks, dosage instructions, and the types of patients for whom Glaxo recommends each product. Glaxo expects PSRs to use the Core Messages and then “[d]evelop and deliver informative sales presentations based on customer needs.”
Plaintiffs received two types of pay-salary and incentive-based compensation. Incentive-based compensation is paid if Glaxo’s market share for a particular product increases in a PSR’s territory, sales volume for a product increases, sales revenue increases, or the dose volume increases. Glaxo aims to have a PSR’s total compensation be approximately 75% salary and 25% incentive compensation.4 However, the dollar value of incentive-based compensation is uncapped.