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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Watchdog rules that Merck violated the UK industry code of practice

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:323
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    The UK pharmaceutical industry's regulatory watchdog has ruled that Merck violated the industry's code of practice by altering guidelines on hypertension treatment to give greater prominence to one of the company's own drugs.

    The “ABCD” algorithm is intended to inform decisions on prescribing for high blood pressure in the guidelines of the British Hypertension Society, which were first published in the BMJ in March 2004 (BMJ 2004;328:634-40).

    The letter A refers to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, and the two types of drug are listed in the guidelines in that order. The guidelines specify that “all things being equal and when there are no compelling indications for …

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