Eli Lilly $250k fine for conduct breach

The company employee alleged that sales managers directed sales representatives to influence pharmacists in the  use of the Axiron Starter Guide to encourage patients on other testosterone replacement therapies to ask their doctor to prescribe Axiron instead. The starter guide is an educational pamphlet aimed at patients already prescribed the drug. 

While the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Committee agreed that the Axiron Starter Guide itself wasn’t in breach of the code, it said employees using the material to encourage pharmacists to persuade patients to switch to Axiron was a form of direct-to-consumer promotion of a prescription medicine and therefore a severe breach of the code. 

It also said the activity had been ongoing for a substantial period of time with email correspondence between Eli Lilly employees about the promotional push dating from February 2013 to April 2013. 

The committee was “particularly