GSK discloses payments to Australian healthcare professionals in 2014

In 2014, GSK Australia made payments totalling $3,466,951 to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and health-related organisations (HCOs) for grants, sponsorships and consultancy fees related to chairing and speaking at meetings, assistance with training and participation in advisory boards.

This aggregate number is broken into the following categories:

 

  • $890,503 for consultancy fees related to healthcare professionals providing services such as advisory boards, speaking and writing engagements. 
  • $2,158,488 to individual healthcare professionals to attend international congresses and local education meetings (includes registration fees, accommodation and travel). This category also includes sponsorships to HCOs where GSK receives a benefit in return such as a stand at a conference or a speaking slot at a symposium. 
  • $418,000 in grants or donations to HCOs (non-individual). This category includes activities where GSK is not involved and does not receive a service or direct benefit.

 

This figure covers both the Pharmaceutical and Consumer Healthcare businesses in Australia however does not include payments to consultants in relation to research and development work, including clinical trials. 

GSK ensures that any payment made to HCPs is reasonable, within market rates and reflects the time they spend speaking and advising. 

In comparison to last year, the support to healthcare professionals and organisations has increased. GSK launched a number of new medicines in 2014 and invested in training to ensure healthcare professionals had accurate information about the new medicines and the patients who would benefit. 

In 2013, GSK announced plans to evolve the way it provides medical education to healthcare professionals. To help address any concerns about undue influence on prescriber behaviour and to introduce increased transparency into our marketing and educational efforts, we are phasing out direct payments to healthcare professionals to speak on GSK’s behalf about our medicines at the end of 2015. 

GSK has an important role to play in supporting education for healthcare professionals and in providing accurate information about its medicines to help them make the best treatment decision for their patients, such as sharing new clinical data, details of label changes or safety updates. 

Recognising this, the company will direct additional focus and investment to:

 

  • Strengthen its own dedicated medical and scientific capability to appropriately lead engagement with healthcare professionals;
  • Improve GSK’s multi-channel capability, including use of digital technologies, to ensure appropriate product and disease area information can be provided to healthcare professionals conveniently;
  • Support fair, balanced and objective medical education for healthcare professionals through provision of independent educational grants.

 

Dr Andrew Weekes Medical Director Pharmaceuticals GSK Australia said, “Medical education remains a focus area for GSK to ensure medicines and vaccines are used appropriately but this must be done clearly and transparently. 

“We remain strong supporters of transparency in our industry and we will continue to release our data on an annual basis,” Dr Weekes said. 

GSK will continue to provide appropriate fees for services to healthcare professionals for GSK sponsored clinical research, advisory activities and market research. These activities are essential in providing GSK with insights on specific diseases; identification of symptoms and diagnosis; application of clinical trial data or medication dosage and administration; and how to effectively and appropriately communicate the benefits and risks of its medicines to help meet patient needs. 

In the spirit of transparency GSK Australia also discloses the grants and donations made to community and patient groups. This information can be found on the GSK website. GSK has been disclosing individual payments to patient and community groups for the last seven years. 

GSK is the first pharmaceutical company in Australia to make public the aggregate amount spent on grants, donations and sponsorships with healthcare professionals and related organisations. 

This information will be posted to www.gsk.com.au as part of GSK’s commitment to disclose the aggregate figure annually each year. 

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GlaxoSmithKline is a global research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company with a mission to improve the quality of human life. In Australia we have delivered the highest quality medicines, vaccines and over-the-counter healthcare products since 1886. We contribute to Australia’s economy through new approaches to agriculture and manufacturing, and by investing in local research and development. For more information visit www.gsk.com.au

Contact:

Bernadette Murdoch, Communications Director Australasia

0449 950 745 or Bernadette.l.murdoch@gsk.com