LODZ , Poland, April 17 (UPI) -- Poland’s criminal investigation into whether doctors were bribed to prescribe the asthma medication Seretide has led to charges against 11 doctors and the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
Jarek Wisniewski, a former GSK sales representative, said, “We pay doctors, they give us prescriptions. We prepare an agreement for them to give a talk to patients. We pay 100 (English) pounds ($167), but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug. It’s a bribe.”
He added the payments were ostensibly for educational reasons but the doctors understood a certain amount of prescriptions were expected.
The public prosecutor in the city of Lodz found evidence of corrupt payment practices in over a dozen health centers where no examples of patient education occurred. One doctor has already pleaded guilty.
In 2012 the company paid $3 billion to settle the largest health care fraud case in U.S. history after it pleaded guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety information about a diabetes drug. It was also embroiled in a corruption scandal in China in 2012.