Completed cases

Complaints considered by the Code of Practice Panel are judged on the evidence provided by both parties. Once concluded a case report is published on this website. Good compliance decisions rely on both the interpretation of the Code and an understanding of its application, published case reports help in this regard and set precedent in a particular set of circumstances. When making decisions on compliance with the Code, knowledge gained from previous case reports can be beneficial.                        

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Cases can only link to clauses in the interactive 2019 or 2016 Codes.




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A medical information pharmacist in an NHS trust, complained about a letter (ref UK-CPL-121-008) promoting Melatonin 1mg/ml Oral Solution sent by Colonis Pharma Limited. Melatonin 1mg/ml Oral Solution was indicated for the short-term treatment of jet-lag in adults. The complainant noted that the claims ‘Melatonin 1mg/ml Oral Solution should be prescribed over unlicensed alternatives’ and ‘Specials should not be supplied on the basis of cost or convenience if Melatonin 1mg/ml Oral Solution satisfies the patient’s clinical...

Breach Clause(s): 7.2, 7.4, 9.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 29 June 2019

Completed: 20 December 2019

Boehringer Ingelheim Limited voluntarily admitted that the June 2019 issue of MIMS bore advertising for Spiolto Respimat (tiotropium and olodaterol) on more than two pages – a whole page advertisement and a double-sided bookmark. Spiolto Respimat was indicated as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As Paragraph 5.6 of the Constitution and Procedure required the Director to treat a voluntary admission as a complaint, the matter was...

Breach Clause(s): 6.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 12 July 2019

Completed: 19 December 2019

A contactable complainant who wished to remain anonymous raised concerns about the activities of Novo Nordisk representatives and the promotion of Saxenda (liraglutide). Saxenda was indicated as an adjunct to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity for weight management in adult patients who were obese or overweight with at least one weight-related comorbidity. The complainant alleged that at a Novo Nordisk sponsored obesity training course that covered Saxenda held at the offices of a...

Breach Clause(s): 14.1, 15.2

No breach Clause(s): 2, 3.2, 7.2, 7.4, 9.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 07 May 2019

Completed: 19 December 2019

GlaxoSmithKline admitted that an email sent in September 2019, which had been certified as promotional, contained out-of-date prescribing information.  The error was identified the following day by a GlaxoSmithKline medical signatory. According to GlaxoSmithKline, as it was not possible to recall the original email, a corrective email was sent a week later to the same recipients.  However, 10 days later GlaxoSmithKline found out that its agency, had only sent the corrective email to those GPs who...

Breach Clause(s): 4.1, 9.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 09 October 2019

Completed: 17 December 2019

Pharmacosmos UK Ltd complained that medical department personnel from Vifor Pharma UK Limited had proactively contacted health professionals to discuss information about Ferinject (ferric carboxymaltose) which was misleading with regard to the Pharmacosmos product, Monofer (iron isomaltoside 1000). Ferinject and Monofer were both indicated for the treatment of iron deficiency when oral iron preparations were ineffective or could not be used. Pharmacosmos stated that in December 2018 it was contacted by several UK health professionals who...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 13 February 2019

Completed: 13 December 2019

A complainant, who described him/herself as a ‘concerned UK health professional’, complained about a tweet regarding Zejula (niraparib tosylate monohydrate) published on GlaxoSmithKline’s global corporate Twitter channel which appeared in his/her Twitter feed. Zejula was indicated as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of adults with platinum-sensitive relapsed high grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who were in response to platinum-based chemotherapy. The tweet was titled, ‘Strengthening our pipeline remains our top priority...

Breach Clause(s): 26.1

No breach Clause(s): 4.1, 4.3

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 26 July 2019

Completed: 12 December 2019

A complainant who described him/herself as a ‘concerned UK health professional’, complained about a two-page advertisement for Relvar Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol) placed in the April 2019 edition of Pulse by GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited. Relvar Ellipta was a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS (fluticasone furoate)) and a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA (vilanterol)). Relvar Ellipta was indicated for, inter alia, the regular treatment of asthma in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older where use...

Breach Clause(s): 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.10, 9.1

No breach Clause(s): 3.2

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 26 July 2019

Completed: 09 December 2019

An anonymous, contactable ‘concerned member of the public’ submitted a complaint about a promotional exhibition stand run by Boehringer Ingelheim Limited and Eli Lilly and Company Limited (the Alliance). The exhibition stand promoted Boehringer Ingelheim’s products Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Trajenta (Iinagliptin) at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress (CPC) held on 7 and 8 June at ExCeL London. Jardiance and Trajenta were each used in certain patients with type 2 diabetes. The complainant alleged that the clear visibility of...

No breach Clause(s): 9.1, 26.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 27 July 2019

Completed: 05 December 2019

A complainant who described him/herself as a concerned UK health professional, complained about the online promotion of Invokana (canagliflozin) and Vokanamet (canagliflozin and metformin) by Mundibiopharma. Invokana and Vokanamet were used as an adjunct to diet and exercise in certain adults with type 2 diabetes. The complainant had received an email titled ‘ISN-WCN [International Society of Nephrology – World Conference of Nephrology] Invokana (R) (canagliflozin) virtual booth: Get the latest data on SGLT2 [sodium-glucose transport protein...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 26 April 2019

Completed: 27 November 2019

  An ex-employee complained about a commercial policy implemented by Allergan Limited with respect to its products used in aesthetic medicine – Botox (botulinum toxin Type A), a prescription only medicine and the medical devices Juvederm and CoolSculpting. Botox was indicated, inter alia, for the temporary improvement in the appearance of certain facial lines when the severity had an important psychological impact. The complainant provided details and was concerned about an incentive to prescribe Botox offered in...

No breach Clause(s): 2, 9.1, 18.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 29 July 2019

Completed: 22 November 2019

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