Adverts in the medical press will name French pharma firm for failing to comply with disclosure rules

European pharma group Servier Laboratories is to appear in adverts for breaching the Association of the British Pharma Industry (ABPI) code of practice by failing to publish clinical trial results for the antidepressant Valdoxan (agomelatine) within an acceptable timeframe.

A panel from the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) ruled that Servier was ‘bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry’ and ‘failing to maintain high standards’ in response to a complaint by a member of the public, who noted that a study published by the ABPI on clinical trial transparency showed that the company had breached the ABPI’s own rules on disclosure.

The panel identified five UK clinical trials, which took place between 2008 and 2011, which had failed to comply with regulations. Two of these were published more than a year after they were completed, and three remained unpublished.

In response, Servier said the results of these trials were being prepared for publication. It has decided not to appeal the panel’s decision. The adverts are scheduled to run in the British Medical Journal, The Pharmaceutical Journal and The Nursing Standard over the next few days.