GSK to Stop Paying Doctors for Promoting Its Products
In the history of drug litigation, one fact that clearly emerged is that companies paid doctors a lot of money or provided a great deal of free samples and gifts to promote their drugs. Also, sales reps had sales targets for specific doctors and were often given bonuses based on prescriptions from doctors in their territory. Many times the doctors were “thought leaders” or provided stipends to make “academic presentations” to doctors with the real purpose of promoting use of the drug. From this also came buying weekly lunches for a staff in Doctors’ offices, tickets to plays, sporting events, trips to famous golf outings, birthday presents, presentations at fancy vacation resorts, etc. In our past cases, we have seen notes from sales reps saying things like “likes only dark chocolate”, “prefers golf at …”, and “does not like donuts”. As result of this part of the marketing program, sales often soared and doctors and sales reps alike were rewarded.
Well GSK, who knows its share of litigation problems, has recently announced it is changing its playbook and will no longer pay doctors to promote its drugs or shell out bonuses to sales reps based on their ability to boost prescription numbers. It also stopped paying doctors to attend conferences on GSK’s money. For the first three-quarters of 2012, the company’s speaking budget dropped to $7.6 million from $52.8 million for the same period in 2010, according to ProPublica. Sales reps will no longer have individual sales targets.
Click here to read the full article: GlaxoSmithKline Scraps Doc Payments, Sales-Rep Quotas in Global Marketing Revamp
You can be the judge of GSK’s actions. Either they are truly placing the patient first or they realize this practice has hurt its bottom line.
GSK is doing this on the heels of its 3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice for allegations it market drugs for off label uses, its current investigation in China for bribing Doctors and hospitals to use more of its products, its recent $8.5 million settlement with Utah for allegedly defrauding the state’s Medicaid program through allegedly false and misleading marketing of Avandia.
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