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In a rare move, a U.K. pharmaceutical industry trade group suspended Novo Nordisk for two years due to “serious breaches” involving the promotion of a weight-loss drug that violated a code of practice and discredited the entire sector.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry took this step after receiving a complaint alleging the company had sponsored courses on weight management on LinkedIn for health professionals, without making clear that it was involved in the sponsorship. Since its Saxenda treatment is a weight-loss drug, the LinkedIn post “appeared to be promotional,” the complaint stated.


The complaint noted that, on the website, the course had been run several times, suggesting that there was a large number of health professionals who had been offered the program by the pharmaceutical company. The webinar included information on counseling patients, which was considered to have value since it was given to health care practitioners who run private clinics and, therefore, could benefit.

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