GSK share price: Drugmaker investigates bribery claims in Jordan, Lebanon

on Apr 17, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Listen, Thursday, April 17: GlaxoSmithKline Plc (LON:GSK) has confirmed that it is investigating allegations of bribery in Jordan and Lebanon. The inquiry follows separate claims of corruption in China, Iraq and Poland with news of the last two cases emerging earlier this month.

GSK’s share price has lost about 0.5 percent in London this morning.
**Bribery probe in Jordan, Lebanon**
GSK said yesterday in a statement that it was looking into cases of alleged misconduct by company employees in Jordan and Lebanon. The confirmation was a response to media reports with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) quoting emails alleging that GSK sales representatives had bribed doctors to prescribe drugs and vaccines by issuing free samples to doctors which they were allowed to sell on.

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The WSJ reported that the emails alleged that in Jordan, GSK representatives permitted doctors to bring their spouses on business trips which the UK pharma giant paid for, while in Lebanon, company employees allegedly gave doctors free Synflorix vials as part of an incentive scheme to get them to prescribe the vaccine and not its competitors.
“GSK can confirm we are investigating allegations regarding the activity of a small number of individuals in our operations in Jordan and Lebanon,” the company said in yesterday’s statement, adding that it was using both internal and external teams for the inquiry.

**Growing list of bribery probes**
Yesterday’s confirmation came after earlier this week the company was forced to admit that it had “found evidence of inappropriate communication” in Poland, with the BBC’s Panorama claiming that a GSK regional manager had been charged in connection with alleged corruption in the country. (GSK share price declines amid fresh corruption claims)

Earlier this month, news emerged that GSK was also investigating possible corrupt practices in Iraq where the drugmaker allegedly hired government-employed physicians and pharmacists as paid sales representatives while they continued to work for the government. (GSK share price: Drugmaker investigates alleged bribery in Iraq)

The UK drugmaker is also engulfed in a bribery probe in China with local authorities accusing the company of having funnelled up to 3 billion yuan (£287 million) to doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines.
GSK insisted in yesterday’s statement that it did not “have a systemic issue with unethical behaviour” but admitted that it recognised there were “concerns regarding interactions between pharmaceutical companies and doctors”. Last year, the pharma giant announced it would end the controversial industry tradition of paying doctors to promote drugs at medical conferences and roll out a new sales force compensation programme in an attempt to clean up its sales practices. (GSK share price: drug maker takes measures to clean up sales practices) GSK expects the changes to be in place across its global operations by the start of 2016.
**As of 08:00 BST, buy GSK shares at 1557.00p.**
**As of 08:00 BST, sell GSK shares at 1554.00p.**


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