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Boehringer Ingelheim Limited named in advertisements for breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice

16/03/2012
Boehringer Ingelheim Limited has breached Clause 2 of the ABPI Code of Practice and is the subject of advertisements in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press.

Boehringer Ingelheim – Case AUTH/2424/8/11

For commissioning an article in a medical journal which was disguised promotion of Trajenta before the grant of a marketing authorization that permitted its sale or supply, Boehringer Ingelheim was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:

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

Clause 3.1 - Promoting a medicine before the grant of a marketing authorization

Clause 7.2 - Making an inaccurate claim

Clause 7.4 - Making an unsubstantiated claim

Clause 7.9 - Making an unsubstantiated claim about the comparative safety of a medicine

Clause 7.10 - Making a claim for a special merit which could not be substantiated

Clause 9.1 - Failing to maintain high standards

Clause 9.10 - Failing to clearly indicate its sponsorship of material relating to medicines and their uses

Clause 12.1 - Disguising promotional materials.

The full case report is published in the PMCPA February Code of Practice Review.

Under provisions in its Constitution and Procedure, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) advertises brief details of all cases where companies are ruled in breach of Clause 2 of the Code, are required to issue a corrective statement or are the subject of a public reprimand.

The advertisements will appear in the BMJ and The Pharmaceutical Journal on 17 March 2012 and The Nursing Standard on 21 March 2012.

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Notes for editors

For more information please contact: Vicky Edgecombe, 020 7747 8884, mobile 07920 863650.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA; www.pmcpa.org.uk) was established by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) on 1 January 1993 to operate the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry at arm's length from the ABPI itself. The Code and other information, including details about ongoing cases and completed cases, is available at www.pmcpa.org.uk.

Complaints submitted under the Code are considered in the first instance by the Code of Practice Panel which consists of three of the following, the Director, Deputy Director, Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Authority, acting with the assistance of independent expert advisers where appropriate. One member of the Authority acts as the case preparation manager for a particular case and does not participate when the Panel considers that case. Both the complainant and the respondent company may appeal to the Code of Practice Appeal Board against rulings made by the Panel.

The Appeal Board is chaired by an independent legally qualified chairman and includes independent members from outside the industry. Details of its composition can be found in the Constitution and Procedure.