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Galderma removed from list of companies compliant to UK Code

Follows breach of pharma standards
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Galderma UK has been removed from the list of non-member companies agree to comply with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's (ABPI) Code of Practice after breaching its standards.

Merck Serono was also ruled by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) to have breached the Code, although it remains within the juristriction of the PMCPA.

The PMCPA ruling states that Galderma failed to maintain standards by sending promotional emails without prior permission of the recipients.

The PMCPA also reprimanded the dermatology specialist based on a complaint issued by a nurse who had serious issues with the way the company conducted an educational meeting.

Galderma (UK) had arranged the meeting in association with a nurse support group, for which it said there was no meeting charge but “due to the high calibre of the speakers provided by Galderma you are required to have purchased a minimum of Two Emervel Classics from [named pharmacy] between now and the 16th November 2013”.

According to the PMCPA, the nurse was “disgusted that he/she was forced to buy at least two boxes of Galderma's dermal fillers to be able to attend”.

The PMCPA added: “The panel considered that patient safety was extremely important and was concerned about patient safety given that a health professional was required to purchase a product that he/she knew nothing about and upon which he/she was not trained. No training was provided at the meeting.”

These actions broke several clauses in the Code, which sets standards for pharmaceutical marketing in the UK, with Galderma “bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry”.

Watford-based Galderma is not a member of the ABPI although it had agreed to comply with Code and accept the jurisdiction of the PMCPA.

Following the latest breaches the PMCPA panel noted it was concerned about the “difficulty in obtaining the relevant information from Galderma and considered that its responses demonstrated a general lack of understanding of the applicability of the Code”.

This led the Panel to report Galderma to the Code of Practice appeal board, which public reprimanded the company and requested an audit of Galderma's procedures.

This request was turned down forcing the board to remove the company from the PMCPA's jurisdiction, meaning that Galderma is no longer responsible to the Code.

Merck Serono was judged to have breached the Code for issuing a press release containing “misleading and exaggerated claims” about the effectiveness of cancer drug Erbitux (cetuximab) after a complaint was issued by rival company Roche.

Merck Serono will now be featured in advertisements in the BMJ, The Pharmaceutical Journal and The Nursing Standard announcing its Code breach.

Article by
Thomas Meek

5th December 2014

From: Marketing

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