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Second drug firm found guilty of “switching” patients to new drugs

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7471.875-a (Published 14 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:875

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    A second drug company has been forced to abandon a programme of switching patients on GPs' lists to a new drug, after a ruling from the drug industry's regulatory body.

    GlaxoSmithKline was found to be in breach of a clause of the code of conduct of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry for paying for a third party or practice staff to switch asthma patients who used both salmeterol (Serevent) and beclomethasone (Becotide-100) to Seretide, a dual action inhaler containing salmeterol and fluticasone (Seretide). Beclomethasone is available in generic form, while the other two products are available in the United Kingdom only as branded drugs.

    Information drawn up by GlaxoSmithKline to promote the product stated …

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