AUTH/3662/6/22 - Complainant v Novartis

Concerns about certification of an article and social media templates

  • Received
    18 June 2022
  • Case number
  • Applicable Code year
  • Completed
    19 July 2023
  • No breach Clause(s)
  • Breach Clause(s)
  • Sanctions applied
    Undertaking received
  • Additional sanctions
  • Appeal
    No appeal

Case Summary

This case was in relation to the certification of an article published in MailOnline and associated social media templates by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

The Panel ruled no breach of the following Clauses of the 2021 Code in relation to the narrow allegation that Novartis had failed to certify the article at issue on the basis that it would be shared; the share buttons were an integral part of the certified material.

No Breach of Clause 8.3

Requirement to certify educational material for the public

No Breach of Clause 5.1

Requirement to maintain high standards

The Panel ruled a breach of the following Clauses of the 2021 Code for not certifying the social media templates generated by clicking on the various share buttons in the article at issue, noting that each template would be used to disseminate educational information to the general public, thus making it particularly important that they were captured by the approval system and certified in accordance with the Code.

Breach of Clause 5.1

Failing to maintain high standards

Breach of Clause 8.3

Failing to certify educational material for the public

The Panel ruled no breach of the following Clause of the 2021 Code because although it considered that a robust certification procedure underpinned self-regulation and noting its rulings above, it did not consider that the particular circumstances of this case warranted a ruling of a breach of Clause 2, which was a sign of particular censure and was reserved for such use.

No Breach of Clause 2 Requirement that activities or materials must not bring discredit upon, or reduce confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry

This summary is not intended to be read in isolation.
For full details, please see the full case report below.