Business World

Saturday 25 November 2017

Glaxo disciplines employee in bribery probe

GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline

Oliver Staley

GlaxoSmithKline, the drugmaker under investigation for alleged corruption in China, said it has disciplined an employee in Poland in connection with a bribery probe.

Twelve doctors and a Glaxo regional manager were charged in connection with the alleged corruption in 2012 and the investigation is not complete, Jacek Pakula, a spokesman for the Lodz prosecutor's office, said.

The doctors were paid to push Glaxo's Seretide asthma drug under the pretence they were being compensated for educational talks, the BBC said on its website, citing a former Glaxo sales representative.

Glaxo has been under investigation since last year in relation to the bribery of doctors in China, and last week said it would look into allegations of similar behaviour in Iraq. In March, Glaxo said it would hire doctors to give talks about its drugs rather than pay external speakers as part of an overhaul of marketing.

"We agree there is a need to modernise interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and health-care professionals to ensure patients' interests are always put first and to eliminate even a perception of a conflict of interest," the company said.

In Poland, doctors were paid to give talks to patients and other medical professionals from 2010 to 2012.

After an internal investigation, the company said that it found one employee who had violated company policy by engaging in "inappropriate communication".

The employee was reprimanded and disciplined, and Glaxo is co-operating with Polish authorities, the company said. The Glaxo employee and the doctors face six months to eight years' imprisonment under Polish law, he said. (© Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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