Roche is fined for drug deal offer to health service

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 02 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6232
  1. Bob Burton
  1. 1Hobart

An Australian subsidiary of the drug giant Roche has been fined $A200 000 (£124 200; €143 300; $199 500) for offering a regional public health organisation funding for a nursing position in exchange for doctors in the region prescribing its hepatitis drug peginterferon alfa-2a (marketed as Pegasys).

A health professional complained to the drug industry body Medicines Australia that Roche Products had breached the industry’s self regulatory code of conduct by offering the funding. Medicines Australia’s code committee found that the written offer “was contingent on the number of patients treated with Pegasys, with a sliding scale of increased funding for more patients treated.”

The code states that financial support from drug companies “must not be conditional …

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