More reports on: Pharmaceuticals

After China and Iraq, GSK now faces bribery probe in Poland

14 April 2014

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is under a criminal probe for allegedly bribing doctors in Poland for prescribing its asthma drug, the BBC reported on its Panorama programme, Who's Paying Your Doctor?, due to be aired later in the day todasy at 8:30 pm (BST).

The latest corruption probe follows recent bribery investigations in China and Iraq into the London-based company's payments to doctors for prescribing its products.

Prosecutors in Lodz, Poland, are investigating whether GSK bribed doctors in the country between 2010 and 2012 to promote its asthma drug Seretide by showing that the money was spent on educating patients, according to whistle-blower Jarek Wisniewiski, a former GSK sales representative, who worked for eight years until 2012.

Wisniewiski has also alleged that doctors were paid for lectures which never took place.

The BBC reported that 11 doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged in connection with alleged corruption.

GSK told BBC Panorama that it conducted an internal investigated and found ''evidence of inappropriate communication in contravention of GSK policy by a single employee. The employee concerned was reprimanded and disciplined as a result.''

The Lodz public prosecutor found evidence that GSK had made payments to more than 12 health centres where no patient education had taken place.

One doctor, who accepted £100 for a single lecture he never gave, has already admitted to his guilt and has been fined and given a suspended sentence.

Early this month GSK said that it has launched an investigation into allegations that the company hired 16 state-employed doctors and pharmacists in 2012 as their paid sales representatives in order to boost sales inn Iraq. (See: GSK launches probe into unethical conduct in Iraq)

Last July, Chinese regulators alleged that GSK paid £300 million between 2007 and 2010 through travel agencies to doctors and government officials for conferences that were never held, and to promote more drug prescriptions. (See: China accuses GSK of bribery, raising prices and tax fraud)


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