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Astellas UK, Astellas Europe, Pfizer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Tor Generics named in advertisements following breaches

14/09/2017
Press Release

Astellas UK and Astellas Europe have brought discredit upon, and reduced confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. Both companies have been named in advertisements(1) following breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. In addition both have been publicly reprimanded.

Pfizer Ltd, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd and Tor Generics Ltd have brought discredit upon, and reduced confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. All three companies have been named in advertisements(1) following breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry.  

Astellas UK and Astellas Europe - Cases AUTH/2939/2/17 and AUTH/2940/2/17

Each company voluntarily admitted that the prescribing information for a number of their medicines had been incomplete, by the omission of some adverse events and the like, for several years and they were ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:

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

Clause 4.1    - Providing incomplete prescribing information

Clause 9.1    - Failing to maintain high standards.

Pfizer and Novartis – Cases AUTH/2928/1/17 and AUTH/2929/1/17

For failing to comply with their previous undertakings, by continuing to misleadingly promote Ultibro Breezhaler (indacaterol/glycopyrronium) without setting that within the context of its licensed indication and for producing representatives' briefing material that was not sufficiently clear, Pfizer and Novartis were ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:

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

Clause 3.2    - Making claims inconsistent with the SPC.

Clause 7.2    - Making misleading claims.

Clause 9.1    - Failing to maintain high standards.

Clause 15.9  - Producing representatives' briefing material that was likely to lead to a breach of the Code. 

Clause 29     - Failing to comply with an undertaking.

​Tor Generics – Case AUTH/2950/4/17

For promoting Tor-bac (saline solution for injection) which was not yet licensed, but was expected to be classified as a prescription only medicine, in a magazine aimed at the public, Tor Generics 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.

​Notes to Editors: 

For more information contact: Elly Button 02077478884/ 07956 437982 or ebutton@pmcpa.org.uk and see the August 2017 Code of Practice Review.

If you have any concerns about the activities of pharmaceutical companies in this regard, please contact the PMCPA 7th Floor, 105 Victoria St, London SW1E 6QT or complaints@pmcpa.org.uk.

(1) The advertisements will appear in the British Medical Journal on 16 September 2017, the Nursing Standard on 20 September 2017 and the Pharmaceutical Journal on 30 September 2017.