Can GSK’s verdict rewrite product strategies in developing markets?

In September this year, British drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in China was slapped with a whopping $489 million fine by the Chinese court for bribing doctors with money and property to use its drugs


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GSK in an official apology statement has confessed that it ‘...fully accepts the facts and evidence of the investigation, and the verdict of the Chinese judicial authorities.'

The breach came to light after an investigation that was launched following allegations from a whistleblower revealing the practices in GSK's Chinese operations.

While bribing controversies is not a new thing among the big pharma giants, globally, industry analysts now feel that the impact of this judgment could have far reaching consequences with respect to strategy shift in new product marketing.

"Pharma companies will be much more cautious in their approach to recruiting and incentivizing medical professionals, especially physicians in emerging markets," predicts Ms Aparna Krishnan, MS, analyst, GlobalData, who covers the dynamics of healthcare industry.

In the past, large pharmaceutical companies looking to expand their presence in emerging markets have traditionally used third parties to carry out promotional activities for their therapies.


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