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.                        

Search options for completed cases can be found below, please scroll down.

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Click on the blue arrow below to search completed cases.  Searches can be run by free Text, Case number, Respondent, Complainant or Clause Number.

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Please Note:

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




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ViiV Healthcare Ltd complained about material used by Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd to promote Biktarvy (bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir) at the HIV Drug Therapy Conference in Glasgow, 28-31 October 2018. Biktarvy was used in the treatment of adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). ViiV promoted, inter alia, Juluca (dolutegravir (DTG)/rilpivirine) for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. ViiV stated that its complaint related to a stand panel and videos (original and revised) that appeared on the stand. The...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 20 December 2018

Completed: 18 November 2019

A complainant, who described him/herself as a ‘concerned UK health professional’, complained about GW Pharmaceuticals’ website ( GW was the marketing authorisation holder of Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol) used in adults with multiple sclerosis. A marketing authorisation application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had been made for Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for use in the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. GW also had a number of other cannabinoid products...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 24 April 2019

Completed: 18 November 2019

A health professional complained that the Disclosure UK website indicated that he/she had received financial support from Merck Sharp & Dohme which was not so. The complainant stated that he/she had never received any support from the company and had no contact with it in any capacity. The complainant submitted that the incorrect data had resulted in personal reputational damage and a potential fraud investigation. The detailed response from Merck Sharp & Dohme is given below. The...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 21 December 2018

Completed: 15 November 2019

An anonymous, non-contactable individual who described him/herself as a concerned physician, complained about the conduct of Santen UK Limited employees at the annual meeting of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) in 2019 and a Santen organised meeting. Santen held marketing authorizations for a number of prescription-only eye drops including those used to treat glaucoma. It had also acquired the rights to Microshunt, a medical device for use in glaucoma. The complainant drew attention to a...

No breach Clause(s): 2, 9.1, 11.1, 18.1, 22.1, 23.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 19 June 2019

Completed: 15 November 2019

A complainant who described him/herself as a concerned UK health professional, complained for a second time about a post received on his/her LinkedIn feed from Alexion Pharmaceuticals. The LinkedIn message was first brought to the Authority’s attention in Case AUTH/3051/6/18. The message informed readers, inter alia, that Alexion had submitted an EU application for approval of ALXN1210 as a treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) and included a link to a press release about Alexion...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 20 February 2019

Completed: 12 November 2019

An individual, who described him/herself as a concerned UK health professional, complained about the Events section of a GlaxoSmithKline website. The section focussed on fluticasone furoate which was one of the active ingredients in Relvar Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol trifenatate), used in the treatment of asthma. The complainant noted a webinar listed on the website as an upcoming event. There was no prescribing information available on either the front page of the website, or where the event...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 28 March 2019

Completed: 01 November 2019

A respiratory nurse complained about Facebook/ Instagram posts by an AstraZeneca UK sales manager.  The posts referred to a named nurse who was a key opinion leader.  The complainant stated that he/she attended many respiratory meetings locally and nationally and it had recently been brought to his/her attention by a colleague that a named respiratory influencer and educational nurse lead (nurse A) had posted on Facebook/Instagram a picture of his/her partner dressed up to go...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 04 April 2019

Completed: 29 October 2019

An anonymous, non-contactable individual, who described him/herself as a health professional, complained about a two-page advertisement (ref UK/UCV/0028/18) for Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium and vilanterol) placed by GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited in the February 2019 edition of Guidelines in Practice. In the top left-hand corner of each page was a prominent blue circle inside which was stated ‘NICE 2018’. Each page also had a prominent depiction of the Anoro Ellipta device. Anoro Ellipta was a fixed dose combination...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 22 March 2019

Completed: 18 October 2019

A complainant, who described him/herself as a concerned UK health professional, complained about material placed on a BMJ website by UCB Pharma Ltd. The material was described by UCB as a ‘tile’; its only written content was the UCB corporate logo followed beneath by medicine name ‘Viridal’. Written on the lower edge of the tile was ‘MEN’S HEALTH’. Viridal (alprostadil) was used to treat erectile dysfunction. The complainant noted that there was no non-proprietary name or unique...

Breach Clause(s): 4.3, 14.1

Applicable Code: 2019

Received: 15 July 2019

Completed: 17 October 2019

  A ‘group of concerned employees’ complained about the arrangements for international meetings and comments made by a senior Otsuka Europe employee at an internal meeting. The detailed response from Otsuka Europe is given below. The complainants alleged that previous international meetings had been misclassified and certified as non-promotional events when it was clear that such activities were promotional.  The complainants alleged that these had been classified incorrectly due to commercial pressure to get more attendees for non-promotional...

Applicable Code: 2016

Received: 20 March 2019

Completed: 16 October 2019

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