GSK First Pharma Company to Stop Paying Doctors to Endorse Its Products

More expected to follow as Obamacare disclosure requirements come into effect next year

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GlaxoSmithKline has become the first major pharmaceutical company to quit the industry’s decades-long practice of paying doctors to promote drugs to other doctors.

Making the announcement on Monday, chief executive Andrew Witty denied that the move was a response to the company’s current problems in China, where it is being investigated for bribing doctors and government officials in order to increase sales.

Harvard professor Dr. Jerry Avorn, one of the most vocal critics of the practice, praised the move.

“It’s a modest acknowledgement of the fact that learning from a doctor who is paid by a drug company to give a talk about its products isn’t the best way for doctors to learn about those products,” he told the New York Times.

Mr. Witty also said that GlaxoSmithKline would stop compensating sales representatives based on the number of prescriptions doctors wrote. In 2012, the company paid a record $3 billion in fines to resolve charges of drugs being marketed for unapproved uses.

Several other major pharma companies have settled similar cases, and it can be expected that others follow GlaxoSmithKline’s lead as all payments to doctors need to be made public next year under the requirements of Obamacare.



  • Lisa H
  • Chicago


Get a grip my friends. It has been ages since pharma has given out anything. No pens, no nothing. Shame on those who feel like a educational discussion or a simple "pen" can undo all of the years and years of college, practice expertise and direct patient care, undercutting the Hippocratic Oath, among other things.

It boggles the mind that most people do not even know where this stems from. You can thank your government, once again, for all of this confusion and mess. This all comes down from congress. A pharmaceutical representative, who is very well educated, and helps in delivering educational information for the best outcome of the patient, cannot give out a simple pen. That is all fine, however, when congressmen have lobbyist's flying them on a private jet, halfway around the country for a round of golf and lunch for the afternoon.............well you tell me.