Fined over $3 billion for violating federal law in the US, part of a corruption investigation in China - What more for British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline?
Well, a whistleblower has come forward alleging that GlaxoSmithKline employees in Iraq are up to no good.
According to the Wall Street Journal [WSJ] "A person familiar with Glaxo's Mideast operations emailed the U.K. drug company late last year and earlier this year to report what the person said were corrupt practices in Iraq, including continuing issues and alleged misconduct dating from last year and 2012."
WSJ adds, "The emails cite behavior similar to Glaxo's alleged misconduct in China, including alleged bribery of physicians."
The allegations cited include but are not limited to:
- Hiring 16 government-employed physicians and pharmacists in Iraq as paid sales representatives for the company while they continued to work for the government.
- A government-employed Iraqi emergency-room physician prescribing Glaxo products, even when they weren't in the hospital's pharmacy and a competitor's brand was in stock.
- Paying expenses to government-employed doctors to attend international conferences.
The WSJ also writes... "In 2012 Glaxo Iraq won the contract to supply the company's Rotarix vaccine, Glaxo paid for a workshop in Lebanon for Iraqi Ministry of Health officials, the email said. That included paying for a doctor's family to travel to Lebanon "so it would be a family vacation for him at the hotel."
In 2011 Glaxo Iraq signed an agreement with Modern Drug Industries, an Iraqi company, to manufacture and package drugs in Baghdad. At the time GSK said producing drugs closer to the customer would improve their cost base and enable them to sell products on at an "access price".
GSK's company tagline is "We are a leading healthcare company that helps people to do more, feel better and live longer"
Hat tip - The Truthman