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Boehringer promoted off-label drug to patients, finds watchdog

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 21 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8251
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

A watchdog has ruled that the drug company Boehringer Ingelheim breached five clauses of the UK drug industry’s code of practice when it promoted the anticoagulant dabigatran (which it markets as Pradaxa) outside its licensed indications to members of the public.

The company brought discredit on and reduced confidence in the drug industry, failed to maintain high standards, advertised a prescription only drug to the public, and encouraged members of the public to ask their doctor to prescribe the drug, said the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority in its ruling, which was made in July but published in November. The …

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