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Pharma boss apologises for not disclosing sponsorship of anti-obesity training

The chief executive of pharma group Novo Nordisk has apologised for breaking the UK industry code by failing to disclose its sponsorship of obesity and weight management training courses for healthcare professionals that also promoted its weight loss drug.

The webinars, which were viewed by thousands of healthcare professionals, preferentially included positive information about Novo’s weight loss drug Saxenda, which the self-regulatory watchdog deemed a “disguised” large-scale promotional campaign. 

The industry self-regulatory body published a strongly worded reprimand last year, saying it was “concerned about the company’s compliance culture . . . internal governance systems and processes, and a perceived naivety and lack of accountability from Novo Nordisk”.

It also said it was concerned about “the potential impact on patient safety” because the webinars, which were run by a third-party provider but sponsored by Novo, showed a “lack of balance” in how they compared the side effects of Saxenda and its competitors.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Financial Times, 12 February 2023


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