Wyeth found guilty of paying to boost use of a specific medicine

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 24 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1515
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Drugs giant Wyeth has suspended a programme of offering to switch patients on GPs' lists from a version of a drug that is soon to lose its patent to one with a longer patent life, after a ruling by the pharmaceutical industry's regulatory body.

    According to Des Spence, a GP in Glasgow, Wyeth started to offer GPs in his area a service to change the repeat prescriptions of patients taking the proton pump inhibitor Zoton (capsules of lansoprazole) to Zoton FasTab (orodispersible tablets of lansoprazole) about six months ago. The reason the company gave for the switch to FasTab was that the newer drug was 10% cheaper than Zoton and equally effective, so the switch represented a cost saving …

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