China corruption settlement, check. Now GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty needs to come to terms with investors. With quarterly sales off and new drugs lagging, shareholders are demanding change at the top--and this time, some are willing to go on the record.
GlaxoSmithKline says it's rolling out sales and marketing reforms around the world. Apparently, the changes come none too soon. The British drugmaker opened another bribery investigation, this time in Iraq, to check out allegations that it paid government-employed physicians to promote its products.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty set a precedent back in 2009, when his company placed several patents in a public pool to help developing countries find cures for HIV and other diseases--and then challenged other companies to do the same.
GlaxoSmithKline will spend £100 million on a handful of plants in Africa as part of a campaign to help African countries build the facilities and know-how to manufacture the drugs they need at costs they can bear.
Lots of drugmakers see Africa as a market that over time can produce some substantial business. But GlaxoSmithKline is not just manufacturing and selling drugs there. It is going one better with a new "open lab" R&D facility to let African researchers work on the drugs needed by Africans for noncommunicable diseases.
It remains to be seen how much GlaxoSmithKline's China bribery scandal will cost the British pharma, but it has already cost CEO Andrew Witty up to $410,000 in potential bonus money, according to the company's annual report.
GlaxoSmithKline is tossing out the Big Pharma marketing playbook. No longer will Glaxo pay doctors to promote its drugs or shell out bonuses to sales reps based on their ability to boost prescription numbers.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty says he's a "huge bull" on India, despite the ongoing patent-rights tug-of-war between foreign drugmakers and domestic officials. Now, Witty is putting another $1 billion where his mouth is.
You have to hand it to GlaxoSmithKline: The company knows how to play politics in its home country. After lobbying for years for a "patent box" that would cut its taxes, the company has announced two major investments in the U.K.--and credited the patent box with both.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron thinks GlaxoSmithKline is a "very decent and strong British business" and has been talking it up with Chinese officials during his trade visit there.