For the fourth time this year, Novartis has been reprimanded by a U.K. trade group for misleading promotional efforts for its biggest-selling drug and, in the process, failing to maintain high standards expected of pharmaceutical companies.
In the latest instance, the company was cited for hosting an online event to discuss heart failure but the virtual meeting essentially amounted to a promotional event, since Novartis medicines — specifically, the Entresto heart failure treatment — were discussed during the session. Yet the connection was not made clear anywhere on the website or the agenda.
As a result, Novartis committed several violations of a voluntary code maintained by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, which is a self-regulatory body overseen by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. The PMCPA was created 30 years ago to bolster the industry’s reputation and has become a receptacle for complaints, often by physicians and company employees.