On Tuesday GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced it will no longer give its sale people targets based on the number of prescriptions generated. Instead the firm will assess them on their level of technical expertise, involvement in patient support and the overall performance of the business into account.
At this stage the new compensation scheme – which GSK has been trialling in the US since 2011 – will apply only to in-house sales and marketing personnel when it is officially rolled out in 2014.
However, according to a GSK spokeswoman, the firm is considering whether it will make adoption of a similar approach a requirement for contract sales people.
“This is a question we are still working through” she told Outsourcing-pharma.com, adding that “in general we would expect partners that are actively promoting GSK brands to be aligned with our commercial practices.”
GSK also said that it will stop paying doctors to promote its drug products at industry events and stop funding their attendance at such events.
The decision coincides with an investigation of GSK’s sales practices in China that follows accusations the UK drugmaker bribed doctors to prescribe its products preferentially using money funnelled through local travel agencies.
GSK has denied that the introduction of the new compensation plan and the scandal in China are linked, telling Reuters that they are “part of a broad effort to improve transparency.”
Company CEO Andrew Witty said: “We recognize that we have an important role to play in providing doctors with information about our medicines, but this must be done clearly, transparently and without any perception of conflict of interest.”