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MHRA upholds two marketing complaints

The MHRA has upheld two advertising complaints regarding the marketing of Gardasil and vaccines to healthcare professionals

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has upheld two advertising complaints regarding the marketing of Gardasil and vaccines to healthcare professionals.

A healthcare professional complained to the MHRA in April 2007 about an advert that appeared in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which was produced by Sanofi-Pasteur MSD. The complainant was concerned that the advertising claim "reduces the incidence of pre-cancerous vaginal lesions" was misleading since the supporting data quoted was "not statistically significant". 

The MHRA had vetted prior to issue a journal advertisement for Gardasil that included a similar claim. The MHRA has upheld the complaint and Sanofi-Pasteur MSD has agreed to withdraw the claim from the advertisement.
In another case, Williams Medical Suppliers complained to the MHRA about a letter advertising vaccines that was produced by GP Supplies Limited and emailed to healthcare professionals in May 2007. Williams Medical Suppliers was concerned that the material made product claims and included the indications and therefore fell for consideration as an advertisement under medicines advertising legislation.

The MHRA upheld the complaint. GP Supplies agreed to restrict their marketing materials to the name of the product with a picture and details of the pack quantities and strengths available.

A third complaint regarding the advertising of Reminyl XL has not been upheld. A healthcare professional complained in about an advert for Reminyl XL issued by Shire in Geriatric Medicine and other professional journals in May 2007. The complainant was concerned that the claim "Reminyl helps keep them together" in the advertisement was not supported by evidence such as delaying the need for institutional care.

The MHRA did not uphold the complaint. Shire provided evidence on effects on cognition, behaviour, care giver distress and time to admission to institutional care to support the claim in the advertisement.

2nd September 2008


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