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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19238

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: Journal Article

Hawkes N
Four drug companies breach industry’s code of practice
BMJ 2010 Dec 16; 341:
http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c7266.extract


Abstract:

Four drug companies have been found guilty of breaching the pharmaceutical industry code of practice and one, Novo Nordisk, has been publicly reprimanded for its behaviour.

The four breaches were deemed serious enough to justify placing advertisements in the BMJ, The Nursing Standard and The Pharmaceutical Journal, an action which is taken when companies are ruled to have reduced confidence in the industry, or are publicly reprimanded.

The four companies involved were Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Grünenthal, and Napp Pharmaceuticals. The code is designed to set standards for the promotion and marketing of drugs and is adjudicated by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority.

Two complaints against Novo Nordisk were considered. In the first, which resulted from a complaint by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk was found to have promoted a diabetes drug, …

 

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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.