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Solvay Healthcare Limited, Pfizer Limited and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals UK, Limited named in advertisements for breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice

06/04/2010
Solvay Healthcare Limited, Pfizer Limited and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals UK, Limited have each breached the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. 
To highlight these breaches, all are the subjects of advertisements in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press. In addition Solvay has been publicly reprimanded.
 
Solvay – Case AUTH/2198/1/09
For failing to ensure that grants given to a doctor to carry out an audit of patients constituted a bona fide medical and educational good and service and thus in effect giving what amounted to an inducement to prescribe, Solvay was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code: 
Clause 2          - Bringing discredit upon and reducing
                           confidence in the pharmaceutical industry
Clause 18.1     - Providing a health professional with what
                           amounted to an inducement to prescribe a
                           medicine
Clause 18.4     - Failing to comply with the requirements for the
                           provision of medical and educational goods and 
                           services.
 
Solvay was also publicly reprimanded by the Code of Practice Appeal Board
 
Pfizer – Case AUTH/2259/8/09
For making claims about Champix which were misleading, not capable of substantiation and did not comply with a previous undertaking, Pfizer was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:
Clause 2          - Bringing discredit upon and reducing confidence in
                           the pharmaceutical industry
Clause 7.2       - Making claims and comparisons that were
                           misleading and not sufficiently complete for
                           readers to form their own opinion of
                           the therapeutic value of the medicine
Clause 7.3       - Using misleading comparisons
Clause 7.4       - Using data that could not be substantiated
Clause 7.8       - Using misleading graphs
Clause 9.1       - Failing to maintain high standards
Clause 25        - Failing to comply with an undertaking.
 
Procter & Gamble – Case AUTH/2279/11/09
For failing to comply with an undertaking not to use material previously ruled in breach of the Code, Procter & Gamble was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:
Clause 2          - Reducing confidence in the pharmaceutical
                           industry
Clause 9.1       - Failing to maintain high standards
Clause 25        - Failing to comply with an undertaking.
 
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 10 April 2010 and in The Nursing Standard on 7 April 2010. 
 
The full case reports were published in the PMCPA February Code of Practice Review and are also available at www.pmcpa.org.uk.
 
*** ends***
 
Notes for editors
For more information please contact:
Vicky Edgecombe, Head of Communications – Tel: 020 7747 8884, Mob: 07920 863650 or email vedgecombe@pmcpa.org.uk.
                                                                                                             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 the Director, Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Authority, acting with the assistance of independent expert advisers where appropriate. 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.