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pharmiweb.com today | 27 June 2016

Astellas UK: Suspended from membership of the ABPI

Astellas UK has been suspended as a member of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) with effect from June 24th, 2016.  This is in connection with a number of serious breaches of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The action is as a result of a complaint about an advisory board meeting held in Milan in February 2014 which was ruled to be in breach of the Code, including Clause 2 which deals with actions likely to bring discredit upon, or reduce confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. ...

Following a second complaint and further action by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), it also transpired that Astellas Europe had knowingly provided incorrect information to the PMCPA.

Subsequently, the PMCPA Appeal Board reported the companies to the ABPI Board.  The PMCPA Appeal Board was extremely concerned about the multiple organisational and cultural failings, which included issues of deception and imposed additional sanctions. 

The ABPI Board agreed with the PMCPA Appeal Board’s assessment. The ABPI Board suspended Astellas UK from membership of the ABPI for twelve months.   The companies are to be re-audited in September 2016.  The ABPI Board will see this report and review the length of the suspension before the end of 2016.   The re-audits must show demonstrable improvements in both companies – Astellas UK and Astellas Pharma Europe - particularly in relation to corporate culture.

Astellas has accepted the rulings and taken action to prevent their recurrence.

President of the ABPI, John Kearney, said:   “Breaches of the Code are viewed seriously and this is reflected by the suspension.   Our industry works under strict regulations and any company that fails to meet these standards will be held accountable.”

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