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Allergan and Cephalon breach ABPI code

Allergan and Cephalon (UK) have been found to have breached the ABPI Code of Practice and will be named in adverts in the medical press

Allergan and Cephalon (UK) have been named in advertisements in the medical and pharmaceutical press for breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice.

Allergan was found to be in breach of clauses 2, 9.1 and 25 after Merz Pharma alleged that during a presentation, Allergan implied that its Botox/Vistabel was more potent than Merz's Xeomin/Bocouture.

Cephalon (UK) was found to be in breach of clauses 2, 1.7, 9.1, 15.2, 15.9 and 19.1 after an anonymous ex-employee complained that that the company provided inappropriate hospitality to delegates it had sponsored to attend a European congress in 2009.

Both companies were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

The companies are required to issue a corrective statement, otherwise they will be subject to a public reprimand.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical and marketing companies were reminded about the imminent changes to the code of practice at a PM Society meeting in London yesterday.

The changes, which come into effect from May 1, 2011, include: the ban of promotional scatter items (clause 18), the definition and measurability of joint working (18.5), declaring the use and payment of consultants (20.2) and the disclosure of payments and fees relating to meetings, hospitality and sponsorship (19.4)

The meeting heard that work on digital marketing codes is ongoing, as new technology keeps emerging.

Heather Simmonds, director of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, the body responsible for administering the Code at "arm's length" from the ABPI urged companies to come forward with any questions of queries relating to the changes.

"We are very willing to help. If we are not aware of the problems we cannot help," she said.

24th March 2011

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