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Five major pharma firms break ABPI code of conduct, according to watchdog

Published on 15/12/16 at 09:28am

Eli Lilly, Boehgringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca UK, Grunenthal and Janssen-Cilag have been “named and shamed” by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) for breaching Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) codes of conduct.

The PMCPA detailed each company’s wrongdoings in a statement on their website; all companies were targeted for “bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry”, among a range of other company-specific transgressions. They are as follows:

Grunenthal was accused of “failing to comply with its previous undertaking”, failing to adequately brief reps over call rates and failing to agree written contracts before engaging health professionals.

Janssen was named for having sent uncertified materials from its European group to the UK promoting its drug Stelara (ustekinumab) for an unlicensed indication. The company voluntarily admitted these breaches.

AstraZeneca were also accused of promoting a misleading picture of the indication of its product Duaklir Genuair (formoterol/aclidinium) via uncertified presentations and independent speakers.

Despite an appeal, Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim were jointly named for misleading the market through the distribution of a letter which purported that Jardiance (empagliflozin) was to receive a license extension.The breach was highlighted by Janssen who argued the letter was a veiled marketing tool promoting the drug.

Lilly itself was also accused of the distribution of a publication which erroneously reported the dose of Vitamin B12 required to be supplied with Alimta (pemetrexed).

Matt Fellows

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