The Leiden biotech company Pharming has violated the legal prohibition of public advertising of drugs. The Medicines Advertising Code Foundation considered a complaint about this from competitor Shire to be well-founded.

The ruling does not have direct consequences for Pharming, because the company is not a member of an organization that is affiliated with the Code Commission. Shire or another party can go to court with the ruling in hand.

According to Shire, Pharming suggests research results on his medicine Ruconest are sometimes better than they are. Three press releases contain such superlatives that there was no longer any question of informing the market, but of advertising. The promotion of medicines is prohibited in the Netherlands. The Code Committee recommends Pharming to place a rectification.

Pharming had previously announced that it had only published research results to inform all its investors simultaneously and as well as possible, as it is required as a listed company. In addition, a number of overly commendable formulations have ‘slipped’ through the check, the Dutch company acknowledged earlier in Het Financieele Dagblad.

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