How we work with doctors

No physician, researcher, or healthcare company works in isolation. We need each other, and many others, to help move healthcare forward.

For our part, we work with members of the healthcare community, including treating physicians, clinical researchers, patients, professional associations and advocacy groups, etc., who are close to patients and understand both diseases and treatments. This collaboration is vital to our mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer.

Healthcare professionals are responsible for making treatment choices for their patients. As a company that develops and produces many treatment options, we have an important role to play in providing accurate information about our products to help prescribers make the best decisions. At the core of our relationship with healthcare professionals is our shared concern for improving the health of patients.

Putting the patient first: compensating our sales force

In 2011, we became the first pharmaceutical company to remove the link between the pay of our sales representatives in the US from the number of prescriptions issued. Instead, our sales professionals who work directly with prescribing healthcare professionals are evaluated and rewarded primarily based on three factors: selling competency; customer evaluations; and the overall operating profit of our North America pharmaceuticals business.

This change aligns the performance measures and rewards with our values so doctors can be confident that our sales professionals are focused on improving patient health. Experiences in the last several years suggest that this more patient-focused approach has significantly improved both customer interactions and satisfaction with our US pharmaceutical business. 

In 2013, we announced that a similar approach will be extended globally to the 150 countries where we operate around the world. The aim is for this new compensation system to be in place globally by early 2015.

New ways of sharing information

We have committed globally to phase out payments for HCPs to speak on our behalf about our products or disease areas to audiences who can prescribe or influence prescribing. Instead, we will invest in new ways to share information about our medicines and vaccines.

We will strengthen our dedicated medical and scientific capability to appropriately engage with HCPs and improve our use of digital and other technologies to provide appropriate information on products and disease areas more conveniently.

These industry practices are not wrong or illegal but we believe the changes we are implementing could help build and protect trust in both HCPs and us.    

Reporting our relationships

While these changes are implemented, we will continue to disclose any payments we do make to HCPs and HCOs. These payments must be appropriate for the services and expertise provided to us, must not be excessive, and never an inducement or reward for prescribing our products.

GSK was one of the first pharmaceutical companies in the US to voluntarily disclose information about our work with physician, including fees for speaking and consulting, which we have posted publicly since 2009. In 2010, we began disclosing payments to institutions and lead investigator for assisting with clinical research studies.

We will continue to provide appropriate fees for services to HCPs for GSK-sponsored clinical research and for advisory activities and market research, which provide us with essential insights on specific diseases.