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Pharmaceutical companies

Astellas UK suspended from ABPI for 12 months for breaking pharmaceutical advertising code

Logo of Astellas in the US headquarters

Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy Stock Photo

Astellas UK’s membership of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has been suspended for 12 months after the company broke its code of practice, it has been confirmed. 

The suspension runs from 24 June 2016 and will be reviewed before the end of the year, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) – the organisation that polices the ABPI code — said on 23 August 2016.

The action follows breaches of the code concerning arrangements of a meeting organised for 100 clinicians in Europe.

Re-audits of Astellas UK and its parent company Astellas Europe have also been requested to prove whether there have been “demonstrable improvements… particularly in relation to corporate culture”, the PMCPA said.

As part of its ruling, the PMCPA found that false information had been presented in relation to the case, bringing discredit upon the pharmaceutical industry.

The PMCPA also found other companies in breach of the industry code.

Stirling Anglian made unacceptable payments to healthcare professionals to attend a meeting that promoted Comical (marigold plus electrolytes) and theiCal-D3 (calcium carbonate and cholecalciferol). The meeting was not a genuine advisory board. 

Napp Pharmaceuticals broke the code for making unacceptable payments to healthcare professionals to attend a meeting that promoted Resita (infliximab). The meeting was not a genuine advisory board. 

Hospira was found in breach for holding a meeting outside the UK for UK healthcare professionals. It was not a genuine advisory board because it used the event to promote its biosimilar medicines. 

Further details about the breaches can be found on the PMCPA website. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201629

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