Novartis breached code after doctors say it “invented” a diseaseBMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7377.1379 (Published 14 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1379
- Annabel Ferriman
The drug company Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK has been found to be in breach of the industry's advertising code in promoting its drug nateglinide (Starlix).
A GP complained to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, a body set up by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry in 1993 to police its advertising rules, after he attended a meeting on diabetes and coronary heart disease. The meeting was organised by Lanarkshire health care committee and sponsored by Novartis.
At this meeting, a speaker used a large study—known as the DECODE study (Diabetes Epidemiology: Collaborative Analysis of Diagnostic Criteria in Europe)—to suggest that if doctors treating diabetes could reduce the high concentrations of sugar in their patients' blood after a meal, they could reduce their mortality. He produced literature from Novartis to support his …