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Pfizer Australia faces scrutiny over atorvastatin advertising campaign

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3463 (Published 15 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3463
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

Pfizer Australia has been accused of breaching regulations banning advertisements aimed directly at consumers by placing in the media what it calls “community service announcements” about its cholesterol lowering drug atorvastatin (which it markets as Lipitor).

Ken Harvey, adjunct associate professor in the School of Public Health at La Trobe University, Melbourne, has lodged a complaint about the notices with the code of conduct committee of the industry body Medicines Australia. The notices appeared in newspapers and were broadcast on radio earlier this month.

Harvey alleges that the campaign amounts to promotion of a prescription product to the general public and is part of a strategy to maintain market share in the face of competition from generic products.

However, Pfizer says that the notices are …

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