* Doctors allegedly offered free samples, travel benefits
* Follows earlier claims of bribes in China, Poland, Iraq
(Adds details on allegations, further GSK comment)
LONDON, April 16 GlaxoSmithKline,
Britain's biggest drugmaker, said on Wednesday it was
investigating allegations of bribery involving some of its staff
in Jordan and Lebanon, following earlier claims of corruption in
China, Poland and Iraq.
"GSK can confirm we are investigating allegations regarding
the activity of a small number of individuals in our operations
in Jordan and Lebanon," the company said in statement.
"We started investigating using internal and external teams
as soon as we became aware of these claims. These investigations
have not yet concluded."
GSK faces its biggest challenge over corruption allegations
in China, where authorities in July accused it of funnelling up
to 3 billion yuan ($483 million) to doctors and officials to
encourage them to use its medicines in a case that rocked the
This month its reputation was placed under a further cloud
by claims of similar wrongdoing in Iraq and Poland. Poland's
Central Anti-Corruption Bureau said on Monday that 13 people had
been charged, although GSK said it had found evidence of
misconduct by only a single Polish employee, who was
The company said it did not have a systemic issue with
unethical behaviour and said the 161 violations of its sales and
marketing policies in 2013 was very similar to rates reported by
other pharmaceutical companies.
GSK recently took steps to tighten up its marketing
procedures, including a move to stop the practice of paying
doctors to speak on its behalf and tying compensation of sales
representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write.
The latest allegations about Jordan and Lebanon were first
reported in the Wall Street Journal, which cited emails from a
person who first contacted GSK in December.
The emails alleged that GSK sales representatives bribed
doctors to prescribe drugs and vaccines by issuing free samples
to doctors that they were allowed to sell on.
GSK staff were also alleged to have permitted doctors to
bring their spouses on paid-for business trips and speaking
engagements that may not have taken place, according to the
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)