Prescription-only medicines handed out at awards dinner

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has highlighted a complaint about the distribution of medicines in gift bags at an awards dinner in October.

Free samples of medicinal products, including a prescription-only product, were distributed to guests.

The MHRA agreed that the promotion was in breach of Medicines Advertising regulations and upheld the complaint. The manufacturer had re-called the samples of prescription-only medicines that had been distributed and the awards organiser agreed not to include medicinal products in gift bags again.

The MHRA was publishing its annual report “Promoting High Standards in Medicines Advertising Regulations”, after receiving 172 complaints between September 2005 and August 2006. Of these cases, 150 concerned medicines advertising and led to 136 investigations. Complaints came from healthcare professionals, companies and the public. For 84 cases, the MHRA action led to the withdrawal of the advertising.

The report highlights a number of cases and is available on the MHRA website www.mhra.gov.uk

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