Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Glaxo to Stop Paying Doctors to Promote its Products

Published on Feb 24, 2014 at 8:24 am in Dangerous Drugs.

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it will end two controversial industry practices.

Glaxo will stop paying doctors to promote its products, and it will stop tying sales reps’ pay to the number of prescriptions doctors write. The New York Times writes that Glaxo is the first major drug company to take this step, although others may be expected to follow suit shortly.

Not surprisingly, it does not appear that Glaxo is acting out of any kind of altruism. Turns out the company is under investigation in China for allegedly bribing doctors and government officials to boost drug sales.

Glaxo denies the changes are in response to the problems faced in China. The CEO stated that the move is part of a yearlong effort “to try and make sure we stay in step with how the world is changing.”

By next year, the U.S. government will require that any promotional payments that pharmaceutical companies make to doctors be made public.

This is, however, a part of a larger problem in the United States. Currently, the United States and New Zealand are the only countries that allow direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies. This allows pharmaceutical and medical device companies to work around the doctor’s oversight and convince patients that they need medicine for conditions like “restless leg syndrome” and “low-T” by overemphasizing the benefits of the drugs and creating an overmedicated society. It also increases the price of pharmaceuticals.

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Health Institute, the pharmaceutical industry spent 1.2 billion dollars on direct to consumer advertising in 1998, an amount that has ballooned to 4.5 billion in 2009, with 1 billion alone being spent on internet advertising. Much of this advertising budget is spent to promote new drugs, which are not necessarily any more effective than the previous generation of drugs but have drastically increased cost. Many critics suggest that the pharmaceutical commercials should include the costs of generics that would have the same effect on the consumer.

The direct to consumer marketing is also adding difficulty to the FDA’s job of regulating drugs. Before the direct to consumer advertising took off the FDA did not have to worry about the content of pharmaceutical companies commercial advertising. Now, the FDA is forced to regulate the ways in which pharmaceutical companies advertise to consumers, including making sure that each and every commercial and advertisement is consistent with the warning label and approved uses of the drug. This is adding a drastic strain to the FDA’s workload and increasing the amount that the American tax payer is forced to pay in order to subsidize the FDA.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Amtrak Train Derailment Causes Multiple Injuries and Casualties

An Amtrak train carrying 275 passengers derailed in Missouri on Monday, June 27, 2022. The passenger train was on a journey from Los Angeles to Chicago and was also carrying 12 crew members when it was hit by a dump truck at an uncontrolled crossing. Uncontrolled crossings do not have any warning lights or motion […]

Read More

When Should I Use My Hazard Lights?

Warning other drivers of a potential emergency is not easy. Although you give your full attention to driving, that focus usually does not extend to inside of other people’s motor vehicles. You cannot ascertain whether there is an emergency by communicating either through facial expressions or words with another driver in a different vehicle.  Instead, […]

Read More

What Are Telltale Signs of Malnutrition in Nursing Home Residents?

No one wants to send their elderly or incapacitated loved one away to live in a nursing home. Most family members would find a way to take care of their loved ones themselves at home if they thought they could give them the adequate care they needed. That’s not feasible for many families, though.   Why […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
Tad Thomas on AVVO
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion