GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of respiratory pharmacologic therapies such as Advair and Breo Ellipta, plans to end the practice of making direct payments to healthcare professionals to promote its prescription medications, according to a company announcement.
What’s more, GSK will stop providing financial support directly to individual healthcare professionals to attend medical conferences, and instead will fund education for healthcare professionals through unsolicited, independent educational grant routes.
The change is designed to further align the company’s activities with the interests of patients, according to GSK.
“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,” said Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, in a released statement. “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.”
GSK is also changing its compensation model for the company’s sales force, which, beginning in 2014, will begin a new program that will have no individual sales targets. The new program will base compensation for sales professionals who work directly with prescribing healthcare professionals on a blend of qualitative measures and the overall performance of their business, rather than the number of prescriptions generated, according to the company. The aim is for this new compensation system to be in place in all of the countries GSK operates in by early 2015.
According to GSK, the company intends to work through the practical details of these changes with healthcare professionals, medical organizations, and patient interest groups beginning in early 2014, with the aim for the changes to be in place across GSK’s global business by the start of 2016.