Drug company stops paying doctors for talks, endorsements

December 18, 2013

GlaxoSmithKline changes its sales and marketing practices to put more focus on patients, CEO says.

As pressure mounts for physicians and drug manufacturers to be more transparent in their relationships with one another, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies has decided to stop paying doctors to promote their drugs.

GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s sixth-largest drug manufacturer, spent $15.4 million, per quarter, to doctors to promote products, in 2009, according to ProPublica. That number has dwindled to $2.4 million per quarter in 2012.

The company will also change its business model that ties compensation of sales representatives to prescriptions written. The changes will take place globally over the next 2 years.

The drug maker will continue to employ physicians for research, consulting, and market research.

“We believe that it is imperative that we continue to actively challenge our business model at every level to ensure we are responding to the needs of patients and meeting the wider expectations of society,” says Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.