Sunovion and Shield named in advertisements(1) for breach of ABPI Code of Practice
Press Release 17 December 2018
Both 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.
Notes to Editors:
(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.
For more information contact Elly Button firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 7478884 or 07956437982
The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) was established by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) to operate the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry independently of the ABPI. The PMCPA is a division of the ABPI. The Code covers the promotion of medicines for prescribing to health professionals and the provision of information to the public about prescription only medicines. If you have any concerns about the activities of pharmaceutical companies in this regard, please contact the PMCPA at 7th Floor, 105 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6QT or email:email@example.com. The Code and other information, including details about ongoing cases, can be found on the PMCPA website: www.pmcpa.org.uk.