Astellas has been found in breach of the ABPI Code of Practice over a three-page advert in the GP magazine Pulse.

Astellas voluntarily admitted that the 5th December, 2012 edition of Pulse included a one page advertisement for its overactive bladder drug Vesicare, but also included a double-sided bound insert for the medicine – the Code states that there must be only a maximum of two adverts, meaning a breach was ruled.

Astellas stated that its investigation into this mix up suggested that it was not the fault of either Astellas or its agency, which cancelled the additional advert in early November. Pulse has admitted full liability, but under the Code companies are responsible for work undertaken by third parties on their behalf. 

The PMCPA Panel, which polices the Code, said that Astellas had initially booked a single page advertisement for the 5th December issue of Pulse, but decided to replace it with a two page bound insert, adding that emails between the two were clear about the revised instructions.

Pulse confirmed the new instructions, but mistakenly printed both the single page advertisement and the two-page bound insert. The Panel added that it considered Astellas “had been let down” by its publisher.