Latest News
German doctors accused of GSK bribe taking
Wednesday, March 13, 2002

German authorities are investigating allegations that hundreds of hospital doctors took bribes from SmithKline Beecham in return for prescribing certain drugs.

As many as 1,600 doctors and 380 sales reps of SmithKline Beecham - now part of the merged GlaxoSmithKline - are under investigation.

The allegations centre on gifts provided by the sales reps, which included free computers and tickets to the 1998 World Cup final and Formula One races.

A spokesperson for GSK in Munich said the alleged bribery took place between 1997 and 1999, and that the company was co-operating fully with the prosecutors' investigations.

Udo Barske, spokesman for Germany's largest statutory health insurance fund AOK, told the Financial Times: "Attempts by pharmaceutical companies to place their products in hospitals, and to use incentives to do so, have been going on for years."

The investigation has been on-going since 1999, but has only been disclosed this week. Several pharmaceutical companies in Dresden, Frankfurt and Munich have been raided, as well as several travel agents.

A voluntary code of conduct for pharma company-doctor relationships was adopted in Germany in 2000, after the bribes were alleged to have been made.