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Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd named in advertisements for breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd breached Clause 2 of the ABPI Code of Practice and is the subject of advertisements in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press.


CASE AUTH/2747/1/15

​For organizing a meeting​ which was not a genuine advisory board and paying UK health professionals to attend that meeting, where Xtandi (enzalutamide) was promoted for an unlicensed indication, Astellas Europe was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code: 

Clause   2       -           Bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry                           

Clause   9.1    -           Failing to maintain high standards

Clause 12.1    -           Disguised promotion

Clause 18.1    -           Paying health professionals to attend a promotional meeting                                                    

Clause 20.1    -                 ​   Organising an advisory board that did not meet the criteria.

​The Code of Practice Panel considered that its concerns about the arrangements for the meeting (described as a Pan-European advisory board, and held in Milan) and the company's procedures warranted consideration by the Code of Practice Appeal Board.

The Appeal Board was concerned that UK health professionals had attended on the understanding that the meeting was an advisory board and had been paid to do so.  This was unacceptable.  The Appeal Board decided to require Astellas Europe to issue a corrective statement to all the UK attendees at the meeting.

Notes for editors

The full case report is published in the August edition of the Code of Practice Review and is available at

​​The advertisements will appear in the British Medical Journal and The Pharmaceutical Journal on 5 September 2015, The Nursing Standard on 9 September 2015.

For more information please contact: Elly Button, 020 7747 8884 or 07920 863650.

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