the Guardian theguardian.com 18 Mar, 2023 20:45 am

‘Skinny jab’ drug firm facing fresh inquiries after ‘serious breaches’ of industry code

‘Skinny jab’ drug firm facing fresh inquiries after ‘serious breaches’ of industry code
Pharmaceutical company behind blockbuster diet jab Wegovy confronts crises on multiple fronts, amid scrutiny of UK activities

In the last few days, Novo Nordisk has also been suspended from its pharmaceutical trade body and seen the loss of a key partnership with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which said on Friday that it had cut ties with the company after breaches of industry code.In some cases, those with links to Novo Nordisk went on to promote Wegovy in media interviews and in submissions to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the NHS’s cost-effectiveness watchdog, without always making their connections to the company clear.A panel investigating the complaint concluded that the event sponsorship amounted to a “disguised promotional campaign” by Novo Nordisk and ruled that the provision of benefits for health professionals by the company, including an offer of funded paperwork support, amounted to a prohibited “inducement to prescribe, supply, administer and/or recommend” the drug.On Thursday, the ABPI said that after those breaches and a further “detailed audit” of Novo Nordisk’s compliance practices, its board had “significant concern” about the company’s activities and had decided to temporarily expel it.

In the case of Novo Nordisk, the breaches were “very serious”, said Laura Squire, chief healthcare quality and access officer at the MHRA.An injection pen for Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide formula, marketed under the trade name Wegovy.

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