GSK Bribery Probe Expands to Five Countries

April 17, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline is now investigating claims that staff in Jordan and Lebanon may have bribed doctors, adding to last year's bribery allegations in China, as well as the more recent allegations in Iraq and Poland.

According to The Guardian, the Jordan and Lebanon allegations were first reported in the Wall Street Journal, which cited emails that said that GSK sales representatives bribed doctors to prescribe drugs and vaccines by issuing free samples to doctors that they were allowed to sell.

The widening GSK bribery scandal threatens the future of big pharma as a whole in lucrative emerging global markets, as government probes put all foreign companies under scrutiny.

GSK has responded by aiming to be the first in the industry to stop paying outside doctors to promote its products, end payments for medics to attend conferences and detach sales incentives from individual sales targets. According to Reuters, in order to cut ties with outside doctors, GSK will increase its in-house staff of physicians by 10-20 percent.