Merck Serono fined for promoting drug

MERCK Serono has been fined $20,000 over a news item that was found to have been promoting the drug Movectro directly to the general public.

The company was originally fined $75,000 under the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct, but that amount was reduced on appeal.

The fine related to a complaint from a member of the public which alleged a Channel 7 news item about Movectro was misleading and unbalanced as it only highlighted the positive attributes of the product without providing any negative aspects or potential side effects.

The Medicines Australia quarterly report said the company had engaged a public relations firm to manage a media campaign for health professionals in relation to Movectro and the news item, aired in October last year, was prepared by Channel 7 independently of Merck Serono.

The code committee found the item to be in breach of the code, noting Merck Serono said it was made aware of the potential news story