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MHRA division reaffirms its commitment to improving advertising standards in first annual report

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) Advertising Standards Unit has published its first annual report, Promoting High Standards in Medicines Advertising Regulations.

The report meets the commitment given by the MHRA to the Health Select Committee as part of the government's response to the publication The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry and details the changes that have been made to accommodate new challenges.

As part of the changes, the unit wants to establish itself a centre of excellence for advertising standards, taking a strategic approach to improving advertising practice and complementing two of the agency's aim: public health protection and provision of authoritative information.

In addition, the unit will be working alongside other MHRA divisions: for the vetting of new active substances, advertising assessors will work with the Licensing Division; to ensure that serious cases where there is a potential breach of law can be referred for timely review, the unit will join forces with the MHRA Enforcement Group and, to improve the agency's transparency of decision-making and accountability to the public, the unit will collaborate with the Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division.

For further information on the report, visit www.mhra.gov.uk

2nd September 2008

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