ProStrakan, Cephalon UK and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare have this month been named in advertisements for breaches of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s Code of Practice.

All three firms have been censured for breaching Clause 2 of the Code, which relates to actions which bring discredit upon and reduce confidence in the pharmaceutical industry, and this requires the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority to advertise brief details of the cases in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press.

The case against ProStrakan concerns claims made for the firm’s cancer pain drug Abstral (fentanyl) that were misleading, and also for failing to comply with a previous undertaking. The firm was found to be in breach of Clause 2 and also of: Clause 3.2 - making claims that were inconsistent with the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC); Clause 7.2 - making misleading claims; Clause 9.1- failing to maintain high standards; and Clause 25 - failing to comply with an undertaking.

For providing, without sufficient controls, free stock of Effentora (fentanyl), a cancer pain treatment which is a Schedule 2 controlled drug, Cephalon was ruled to have breached Clauses 2, 9.1 and 15.2 – representative failing to maintain high standards  of the Code.

Finally, GlaxoSmithKline has been found to have made claims for its NiQuitin smoking-cessation nicotine replacement products that were misleading and also to have failed to comply with previous undertakings, thus breaching Clause 2; Clause 7.2 – making misleading claims and comparisons; Clause 7.3 – using misleading comparisons; and Clauses 9.1 and 25.

The advertisements appear in the British Medical Journal and The Pharmaceutical Journal August 21 issues and in The Nursing Standard on August 25.