GlaxoSmithKline overhauls sales practices after scandals

GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors to promote its products at events and remove individual sales targets for its marketing staff in a first for the drugs industry looking to recover from scandals over improper sales practices. The initiative represents a bid by Britain’s biggest drugmaker to get ahead of its critics by addressing potential conflicts of interest that could put commercial interests ahead of the best outcome for patients. It comes amid a major bribery investigation in China, where police have accused GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of funneling up to 3 billion yuan ($494 million) to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to boost its drug sales. The entire drugs industry has been under fire for aggressive marketing tactics in recent years and the GSK action is likely to put pressure on other companies to consider similar steps.


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