Abbott Labs Suspended from UK Drug Association for Serious Breaches of Its Code of Practice

Abbott Laboratories, the world’s 12th largest drug company, has been suspended for a minimum of six months from membership in the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

The suspension, which was imposed by the ABPI Board of Management, was based upon a complaint that the company acted in a manner likely to bring discredit on, or reduce confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. Abbott has agreed to take appropriate measures to avoid a repetition of the violations.

According to ABPI President Vincent Lawtom:  “The pharmaceutical industry strives to maintain the highest possible ethical standards in all its dealing with healthcare professionals. The breaches that have been identified are viewed in a very serious light, and this is reflected in the suspension – a sanction that we have not needed to apply for many years.”

The action taken by the ABPI was prompted by an anonymous complaint concerning meetings held by the company that dealt with “inappropriate hospitality for health professionals.” (medicalnewstoday.com 2/20/06).

The suspension was imposed even though ABPI acknowledged Abbott was aware of the problem before the complaint was filed and had already launched its own internal probe that included a review of its procedures and had resulted in three employees leaving the company.

(Source: Medical News Today 2/20/06)

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