Engaging with healthcare professionals

As a healthcare company, we regularly work with healthcare professionals. From collaborating on clinical trials providing high quality, balanced information about our medicines and vaccines, in all of our interactions we aim to be transparent about our work, operate with integrity, and always put the interests of patients first.

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In all of our interactions with healthcare professionals, our priority is to be transparent about our work, operate with integrity, and always put the interests of patients first.

Pharmaceutical companies have an important role to play in providing healthcare professionals (HCPs) with accurate, high quality information about prescription medication and vaccines.

This relationship is fundamental to the progress of medical science and to help meet patient and public health needs

We believe this relationship is fundamental to the progress of medical science and to help meet patient and public health needs.

At the end of 2013 we announced three industry leading changes to reform the way we interact with HCPs

At the end of 2013 we announced three industry leading changes to the way we interact with HCPs. Since January 2016 all of these changes are now in place globally. 

Firstly, we have removed sales target linked incentives for our sales professionals:

  • From January 2015, GSK sales representatives are no longer rewarded based on individual sales targets. We will continue to invest in training our representatives so they have the knowledge and skills to provide HCPs with information and they will be rewarded for the quality of their interaction with HCPs. 

Secondly, we will continue to support  medical education in new and different ways:

  • We continue to believe the industry plays a valuable role in supporting medical education to provide HCPs with information on disease, diagnosis and treatment. We will provide grants to independent organisations that deliver medical education and have no influence over content or who is to be trained. 
  • We remain open to supporting HCPs to attend scientific congresses, but only through funding to third parties, so that GSK is not directly involved in decisions relating to the selection on HCPs.

Thirdly, we have stopped direct payments to HCPs to speak on our behalf: 

  • To help address any concerns about undue influence on prescriber behaviour and to introduce more transparency into our marketing and educational efforts, we have stopped payments to HCPs to speak on GSK’s behalf about our prescription medicines and vaccines. Instead, we’re developing new digital, personal and real-time applications to improve our delivery of information to HCPs. The expert medical doctors we have within GSK will have more time to talk with and answer questions about our medicines with their external peers. 

HCPs will remain valuable partners for GSK, and we will continue to pay HCPs for non-promotional activities that we could not do without them. These include:

  • Conducting GSK-sponsored clinical research
  • Advisory activities and market research which provide us with essential insights on specific diseases and patient care

We are committed to publically disclosing payments we do make to healthcare professionals. Find out more by using the tabs above.

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) help us identify potential volunteers for clinical trials, administer the investigational medicine or vaccine to patients, and monitor the results. This unique medical insight and knowledge is vital to the development of new treatments.

At the core of these relationships is a shared concern for improving the health of patients, based on our values of transparency, respect, integrity and patient focus.

All HCPs who work with us on clinical trials have contracts and are paid for their work on these clinical trials. This payment covers their time, plus the cost of investigations they may need to carry out regarding the suitability of a patient and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Our policies

We have strict policies governing all our work with HCPs. These state that: 

  • all clinical trial investigators are selected solely on their qualifications to conduct good quality clinical research
  • their history of using or not using GSK products must not be taken into account when deciding whether to include them as clinical trial investigators
  • no payments are offered or made to influence their judgement on whether to enrol or maintain a patient in a clinical study
  • gifts are not permissible to healthcare professionals involved in research projects for GSK
  • all payments to HCPs must be governed by contracts
  • any payment must reflect fair market value for the work performed and the services provided.

We also have a commitment to publicly disclose the research payments that are made to healthcare professionals and to their institutions for conducting clinical research.

From 1st January 2016, we stopped making payments to healthcare professionals (HCPs) to speak about our prescription medicines and vaccines to audiences who can prescribe or who can influence prescribing. We have also ended the practice of providing direct financial support for individual HCPs to attend medical conferences.

We acknowledge the importance of increased transparency and of putting the patient at the centre of every decision we take.

In many countries, we already publish payments made to HCPs.  For example, in Australia, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Japan, the UK and the USA, we publish payments in line with local government regulation or industry association Codes.

We will continue to support and work towards increased transparency in other countries as industry associations or governments establish specific guidelines for disclosure - for example, through the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Association (EFPIA) Disclosure Code.

We also continue to work towards publishing global figures at an aggregate level for payments to HCPs, for activities such as advisory services and clinical research.

Find out more about our payments to HCPs in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world via the pages within this section.

Find out our approach towards the EFPIA Disclosure Code and how we are leading the industry in modernising our commercial business model.

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