December 26th, 2013

OTHER OPINION: PRESCRIPTIONS End doctor practice of marketing drugs

Last year we couldn’t have recommended any drug company follow GlaxoSmithKline’s example. The U.S. Justice Department had slapped the world’s sixth-largest global drug maker with a $3 billion fine for promoting two popular drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, for unapproved uses and for failing to reveal key safety information on a third drug.

Now GlaxoSmithKline is taking an action that its peers should follow.The company announced last week that it will no longer hire doctors to promote its drugs, and won’t tie sales reps’ pay to to the number of prescriptions doctors write for drugs they market. The changes go worldwide over the next two years. This is a huge reversal of its past practice of paying doctors to talk up its drugs.

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