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 www.pmcpa.org.uk.
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.