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Code of Practice criticised by Lancet

The Lancet has criticised1 the new Code of Practice produced by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) by noting that the code only applies to prescription only medicines and not so-called over-the-counter medicines.

As already reported, the BMJ has criticised the new Code stating that it lacks teeth. It is becoming clear that the ABPI has a lot more work to do in convincing clinicians that it can regulate the pharmaceutical industry.

Action: As previously suggested, Clinicians should be aware of the Code of Practice and also be prepared to make complaints to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.


  1. Lancet 2005; 366:1828