Drug firm fined for influencing pharmacists

Eli Lilly has been hit with a $250,000 fine after it used pharmacists to urge patients on testosterone replacement therapy to switch to the company's own drug, Axiron.

The strategy — apparently unknown to the company's senior management — was adopted by one of its sales teams with the aim of getting patients to ask their GPs to change their existing treatment.

It was uncovered after a complaint by one of Eli Lilly's own employees, who sent regulators email correspondence between the sales managers and sales representatives.

An investigation by the Medicines Australia Code