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Sunovion and Shield named in advertisements for breach of ABPI Code of Practice

17/12/2018
Press Release

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd and Shield Therapeutics will be named in advertisements(1) following breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. The companies have brought discredit upon, and reduced confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. In addition Sunovion was publicly reprimanded.

Sunovion – Case AUTH/3027/3/18

Sunovion voluntarily admitted its failure to disclose and document its interactions with patient organisations to which it provided financial support and/or significant indirect/non-financial support. Sunovion 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 27.7 - Failing to disclose an accurate list of patient organisations to which it provided financial support and/or significant indirect/non-financial support.

The Code of Practice Appeal Board(2) subsequently decided to publicly reprimand Sunovion for providing inaccurate information to the PMCPA. The interim case report is available at www.pmcpa.org.uk. The public reprimand appears on the front cover of the PMCPA November Code of Practice Review.

Shield – Case AUTH/3037/4/18

For producing a website that promoted both licensed and unlicensed medicines to the general public that was uncertified and did not include or refer to prescribing information, Shield 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 unlicensed medicines

Clause 4.1  -   Failing to include prescribing information

Clause 4.6  -  Failing to include a clear, prominent statement as to where prescribing information could be found

Clause 9.1  -  Failing to maintain high standards

Clause 14.3 - Failing to certify

Clause 26.1 - Promoting a prescription only medicine to the public

Clause 28.1 - Producing a website that contained promotional material which was not directed towards health professionals and other relevant decision makers

The full case report appears in the printed version of the PMCPA November Code of Practice Review which is available at www.pmcpa.org.uk.

 

1 The advertisements will appear in the British Medical Journal on 5th January, the Nursing Standard on 9th January and the Pharmaceutical Journal on 26th January 2019.

2 The Code of Practice Appeal Board consists of an independent, legally qualified, chairman and includes independent members, as well as senior executives from pharmaceutical companies. For the consideration of any matter independent members, including the Chair, must be in a majority. Further details are available in the PMCPA Constitution and Procedure.

Notes to editors:  For more information contact Elly Button ebutton@pmcpa.org.uk 0207 7478884 or 07956437982