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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16964

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Whalen J
AstraZeneca Sharpens Focus on Ethics
The Wall Street Journal 2009 Dec 23
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704157304574611724066010600.html


Full text:

U.S. government fines have made big drug makers “more sensitive than we’ve ever been” about preventing illegal promotion of their drugs, the chief executive of AstraZeneca PLC said in an interview.

AstraZeneca in September reached a preliminary agreement to pay $520 million to settle a U.S. investigation into its marketing of the schizophrenia drug Seroquel, including allegations that the company promoted the drug for uses for which it isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This practice, called “off-label marketing,” is illegal.

AstraZeneca officials have declined to say whether the company will admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, …

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.