(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc <GSK. L> will stop paying doctors to promote its products, Chief Executive Andrew Witty said in an interview with the New York Times, in a move that could be a first for a major drug company.
GSK will also stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, the NY Times said. (http://link.reuters.com/kac55v)
The company's decision comes at a time when GSK faces allegations of illegal payments to Chinese doctors and officials.
Chinese police have accused GSK of funnelling up to 3 billion yuan ($494 million) to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to boost its drug sales. The accusations are the most serious against a multinational in China in years.
However, in the interview Witty said that the proposed changes were unrelated to the investigation in China, and are part of a yearslong effort "to try and make sure we stay in step with how the world is changing."
Witty declined to comment to the newspaper on the Chinese investigation because he said it was still underway.
GlaxoSmithKline could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of business hours.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad and Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)