Roche defends buying lavish meals for doctors at Sydney's restaurants

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7560.169 (Published 20 July 2006)
Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:169.1

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  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. Byron Bay, Australia

    The Swiss drug giant Roche has been accused of breaching the pharmaceutical industry's code of conduct by providing lavish meals to doctors at several of Australia's leading restaurants.


    Embedded Image

    Roche took 18 doctors to the Aria restaurant overlooking Sydney Harbour for dinner at £90 a head

    Credit: THE ARIA RESTAURANT

    The dinners were part of a Roche sponsored scientific symposium on haematology-oncology treatments, which included the company's top selling pharmaceutical, rituximab (MabThera), which has annual sales of more than SFr4bn (£1.8bn; €2.6bn; $3.2bn).

    According to documents obtained by the BMJ, Roche spent more than $A65000 (£27 000; €39 000; $49 000) on one meal for almost 300 people at the Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant, in the Sydney Opera House in July 2005.

    With spectacular views over Sydney harbour, the restaurant is considered one of Australia's best, boasting the “degustation …

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