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GSK, facing bribery claims, battles to build new sales model

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> - hit by bribery claims in five countries - is to employ hundreds more doctors as members of staff as it seeks to build a new sales model designed to eliminate sharp marketing practices. Following a decision to cut commercial ties with outside doctors, GSK expects to increase its in-house team of physicians by 10-20 percent over the next year or so from around 1,500 at present, Chief Medical Officer James Shannon told Reuters.

Federal judge blocks Massachusetts from banning new painkiller Zohydro

BOSTON - A federal judge has blocked Massachusetts from banning the powerful new painkiller Zohydro. U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction after the maker of the drug, Zogenix, argued in a lawsuit that the ban ordered by Gov. Deval Patrick last month is unconstitutional.

Sobeys prescribing legal battle over planned Alberta pharmacy rewards point ban

EDMONTON - A plan by the regulator of Alberta pharmacists to ban stores from giving consumers reward points for purchases is turning into a prescription for a court battle. Sobeys Inc. says it plans to file a legal challenge against the Alberta College of Pharmacists on behalf of Sobeys and Safeway. Earlier this month the college announced it would ban the issuing of such reward points for pharmacy purchases starting May 1. The council says it made the decision because pharmacists and technicians are health professionals, not simply vendors of drugs.

Poland extends corruption probe into Britain's GSK

Polish prosecutors said Monday they have extended a probe into allegations that British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors into promoting one of its drugs. The company also faces a bribery probe in China and last week announced it was investigating alleged corruption by staff at its pharmaceuticals division in Iraq.

Poland extends corruption probe into Britain's GSK

Polish prosecutors said Monday they have extended a probe into allegations that British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors into promoting one of its drugs. The company also faces a bribery probe in China and last week announced it was investigating alleged corruption by staff at its pharmaceuticals division in Iraq.

BBC report says GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors in Poland to get more drug prescriptions

LONDON - The BBC reports that pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is accused of bribing doctors to prescribe medicines in Poland. A "Panorama" show to air Monday evening quotes a former sales representative for the company saying doctors there were paid to prescribe its drugs. A different representative said doctors were paid to give speeches and then expected to increase prescriptions.

GSK faces criminal bribery investigation in Poland

By Ben Hirschler and Adrian Krajewski LONDON/WARSAW (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors to promote its lung drug Seretide, adding to problems for a company already accused of corruption in China and Iraq. Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, or CBA, said on Monday that 13 people had been charged in connection with the investigation launched by Polish prosecutors.

Investors bet Sun Pharma can restore Ranbaxy to health

On the surface, Sun Pharma's $3.2-billion purchase of Indian generics rival Ranbaxy, which is in deep trouble with US regulators over safety lapses, may not look like a great deal. But Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' shares rocketed on last week's announcement it was buying Ranbaxy from Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo, which struggled unsuccessfully to resolve the Indian company's regulatory woes after its 2008 $4.6-billion acquisition.

French plan to push copycat biotech drugs worries Big Pharma

By Natalie Huet and Noëlle Mennella PARIS (Reuters) - France is going out on a limb with a plan to push the use of cheap copies of biotech drugs, triggering alarm among companies in Europe's second-biggest pharmaceutical market behind Germany. The government quietly introduced the measure allowing pharmacists to substitute prescribed brand-name biotech drugs with cheaper, similar versions in its 2014 healthcare budget.

India's Sun Pharma plans gradual phase-out of Ranbaxy-branded drugs in U.S.: sources

By Sumeet Chatterjee and Zeba Siddiqui MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd plans to begin phasing out sales of generic drugs branded as Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd products in the United States, after completing a $3.2 billion takeover of its loss-making rival by the year end, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
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