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Pfizer is 'deeply sorry'

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Published on 12 Apr 2024 / In News and Politics

Pfizer, bringing discredit to pharmaceutical industry
https://www.pmcpa.org.uk/media/cwvkqvyz/3741-case-report-28-march-2024.pdf

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/04/06/pfizer-breached-regulatory-code-five-times-watchdog-finds/

Senior executives used social media to promote an “unlicensed” Covid vaccine.

Pfizer found to have breached the regulatory code five times,

Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA)

Pharmaceutical watchdog,

relates to a complaint about a message posted on twitter

November 2020 by senior Pfizer employees.

COMPLAINT
the complainant alleged that it turned out that such misbehaviour was even more widespread than they had thought, extended right to the top of their UK operation and was apparently continuing to this very day.

PANEL RULING
The Panel noted Pfizer’s submission that on further investigation into this complaint four other Pfizer UK colleagues, including another senior colleague in the UK organisation, had re-tweeted the same post.
The Panel queried whether a social media platform, such as Twitter was the appropriate forum to share such information.
The Panel noted the tweet contained limited information regarding the efficacy of the vaccine candidate with no safety information provided.
On the balance of probabilities, it was likely that the Pfizer UK employee’s connections would include UK members of the public as well as UK health professionals.
The Panel noted that the tweet clearly referred to the outcome of the Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine being developed to protect against COVID-19.
The Panel noted that Clause 3.1 prohibited the promotion of a medicine prior to the grant of its marketing authorisation.
They must not mislead either directly or by implication, by distortion, exaggeration or undue emphasis. Material must be sufficiently complete to enable the recipient to form their own opinion of the therapeutic value of the medicine.
It must not be stated that a product has no adverse reactions, toxic hazards or risks of addiction or dependency. The Panel noted the tweet made no reference to adverse events and was therefore concerned that important safety information relating to the vaccine candidate was not provided and ruled a breach of Clause 7.9 of the 2019 Code as acknowledged by Pfizer.
The Panel noted Pfizer stated that the senior employee whose re-tweet was the subject of this complaint had completed the social media training module in October 2019.
Activity which was clearly outside of company policy had not been taken down or deleted.

‘Unlicensed medicine proactively disseminated’

“unlicensed medicine being proactively disseminated on Twitter to health professions and members of the public in the UK”.

Pfizer UK spokesman

“fully recognises and accepts the issues highlighted by this PMCPA ruling”,

“deeply sorry”.

Pfizer

‘Accidental and unintentional’

Sixth time Pfizer has been reprimanded by the regulator over its promotion of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ben Kingsley, UsForThem

“It’s astonishing how many times Pfizer’s senior executives have been found guilty of serious regulatory offences – in this case including the most serious offence of all under the UK Code of Practice.

“Yet the consequences for Pfizer and the individuals concerned continue to be derisory. This hopeless system of regulation for a multi-billion dollar life and death industry has become a sham, in dire need of reform.”

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