Another GlaxoSmithKline Scandal in China: Bribing Docs to Prescribe Meds?

Published: Jun 13, 2013

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For the second time this month, GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in scandal in China. In this instance, the drugmaker is investigating allegations that its sales staff there was involved in bribing doctors to prescribe drugs, sometimes on an off-label basis, between 2004 and 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Glaxo sales reps allegedly provided doctors with speaking fees, cash, dinners and paid trips in return for prescribing various drugs. The allegations, the paper writes, were made by an anonymous tipster, who sent emails to the Glaxo board, senior execs and compliance officers earlier this year.

One example: sales reps there urged doctors to prescribe the Lamictal epilepsy drug to patients with bipolar disorder, which is an unauthorized use and one patient became seriously ill, writes the paper, which reviewed some of the documents. Glaxo acknowledged an adverse event occurred, but maintained it was not due to off-label marketing.

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