GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) will resume some payments to doctors, the blue-chip drugmaker has said. Reuters notes that while the FTSE 100 group’s no-payment pledge in 2013 marked a first for the industry, other drugmakers failed to follow suit, leaving it at a competitive disadvantage.
GSK’s share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.77 percent to 1,518.60p as of 12:36 BST. The decline is largely in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.66 percent lower at 7,369.01 points. The group’s shares have been little changed over the past year, as compared with a near two-percent drop in the Footsie.
GSK to resume some doctor payments
GSK announced in a statement this week that it was updating its policy on working with healthcare professionals to allow payments to global experts who speak about the science behind the group’s medicines. The changes also include paying ‘reasonable travel costs’ except in the US for attending a GSK-organised standalone meeting, and directly paying registration fees for healthcare professionals to attend remote congress webinars and webcasts.
The company explained that those changes referred to “a select number of innovative products in a limited number of countries and apply to restricted time periods in a product’s lifecycle”.
Under the new policy, the pharmco will also expand its reporting of payments. The news comes after AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) signalled earlier this year that it was preparing to disclose payments to doctors in all countries in which it operates.
Analysts on London-listed drugmaker
UBS reaffirmed GSK as a ‘buy’ last week, valuing the shares at 1,700p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip pharmco currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,522.35p.