US drugmaker Eli Lilly has been given a slap on the wrist by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for failing to disclose enough information about the potential side effects of some of its drugs in an advice leaflet directed at healthcare professionals.

Lilly was reprimanded for not including comprehensive information about the risk of developing hyperglycaemia and diabetes in patients taking its schizophrenia drugs, including the blockbuster Zyprexa (olanzapine), and was also accused of misleading patients by not disclosing its links to the leaflet, according to a report in the Financial Times online.

In a landmark move, the Agency has ruled that Eli Lilly must withdraw the leaflet, which it wrote for doctors to advise on treatments for mental health and included input from the charity Diabetes UK, as well as issue a corrective statement.

A spokesman for Diabetes UK told PharmaTimes NewsOnline that it was first made aware of the complaint back in May, and that the organisation immediately asked Lilly to withdraw the leaflet - -which the group duly did - as it felt the information and the company’s relationship to the Charity could be misconstrued.

The MHRA’s action falls in line with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s new hard-line Code of Practice, which many hope will boost the reputation of the sector.

Just last week, Abbott Laboratories had its membership to the ABPI suspended for six months, after the firm failed to abide by its voluntary Code of Practice by providing inappropriate hospitality for healthcare professionals at meetings that took place in 2004, indicating that an increased effort is being made to stamp out any improper conduct within the pharmaceutical industry.