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GSK to reintroduce bonuses for sales reps

Published on 24/05/19 at 09:59am

British multinational GlaxoSmithKline said on Thursday that it would reintroduce performance-based bonuses for some sales reps in some countries.

The move comes after GSK stopped using incentivising payments in the wake of a series of illegal sales practice scandals around the world.

The lifting of the company-wide ban on sales bonuses comes as GSK seek to retain talent among oncology sales reps as the firm’s cancer drug portfolio continues to grow.

There is considerable competition between firms for oncology sales reps due to the scientific and technical knowledge cancer drug sales reps need to do their jobs.

“During this time, we have remained the only company to have made a broad shift in how we incentivise and compensate our sales force; our peers continue to use individual sales targets,” GSK said.

The move would make GSK “more competitive when it comes to recruiting, motivating and retaining sales representatives and sales management with the right levels of expertise and experience,” the firm said.

The US ban on bonuses came after GSK was fined $3 billion in 2012 for promoting its antidepressants for unapproved uses and for failing to report safety data on its Avandia diabetes drug.

The firm later introduced a worldwide ban on bonuses in 2014 after GSK was fined $500 million over an elaborate scheme which saw sales reps bribing doctors and hospitals in China. After being uncovered the firm’s former country head for China was given a suspended jail sentence.

The lifting of the ban will affect sales reps in Britain, Canada and the United States from July 2019. I f successful bonuses may be reintroduced for reps in other European and major developed markets from January 2020.

Louis Goss

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