Two companies fully decouple bonuses from sales volumes


Cipla, Shionogi


Responsible promotion


Cipla and Shionogi have minimised the incentive to oversell by decoupling their sales agents’ financial rewards from the volume of antibacterial and antifungal medicines they sell.



One of the main drivers for AMR is the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial products, causing antimicrobials to become ineffective more rapidly. Sales practices can promote overuse and misuse, especially when company business models rely on making high volumes of sales. To avoid this, pharmaceutical companies should take steps to ensure their products are used appropriately and only when needed. Specifically, companies can decouple sales agents’ incentives from sales volumes, so that bonuses are not dependent on how much product agents sell. Two companies stand out among the pack for this practice: Cipla and Shionogi.

How does Cipla demonstrate best practice?
As the first generic medicine manufacturer to fully decouple incentives for sales agents from sales volumes globally, Cipla demonstrates best practice. Its payments of bonuses have no link to the quantities of product their agents sell: this removes the incentive to sell inappropriately and thus lowers the risk of promoting misuse, which drives resistance. 

How does Shionogi stand out from the pack?
Shionogi also demonstrates best practice as the first large research-based pharmaceutical company to fully decouple its incentives for sales agents from sales volumes, globally. It does not link payment of bonuses with the volumes of product its agents sell. 

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View our detailed overview of each company’s performance

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