Takeda’s European unit and Eli Lilly have been cited for advertisements placed in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press which highlight breaches of the Code of Practice set out by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, which operates the ABPI code, notes that Takeda Europe breached the latter by using a misleading claim in an advertisement for its diabetes blockbuster Actos (pioglitazone). GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the rival product Avandia (rosiglitazone) had complained about an advert saying that it did not reflect the possible side effects of Actos and could therefore have had implications for patient safety.

The PMCPA ruled that Takeda Europe breached a number of clauses of the code, including Clause 2, – “bringing discredit upon, or reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry – and Clause 3.2 – “promoting a medicine in a way that was inconsistent with its summary of product characteristics”.

Lilly also breached Clause 2 and encouraged patients to ask their health professional for “a specific prescription only medicine”, the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis (tadafil) through use of a chart and action plan on a website and a leaflet. The breaches relate to Lilly's 40 over 40 campaign which claimed that 40% of men aged over 40 had problems with ED.