Thame Laboratories named in an advertisement(1) for breaching the ABPI Code of Practice

​The company has brought discredit upon, and reduced confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry. In addition Thame Laboratories has been required to issue a corrective statement.

Press Release 15 October 2018

Thame Laboratories – Case AUTH/2971/8/17

For sending a letter to clinicians about Thamicarb Oral Solution (sodium bicarbonate) which was misleading and disparaged the professional opinions of the reader, Thame was ruled in breach of the following clauses of the Code:

Clause 2 - Bringing discredit upon, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry.
Clause 3.2 - Promoting a medicine in a manner inconsistent with the details listed in its summary of product characteristics (SPC).
Clause 7.2 - Making misleading claims and implications.
Clause 7.4 - Making claims which could not be substantiated.
Clause 8.2 - Disparaging the professional opinion of a heath professional.
Clause 9.1 - Failing to maintain high standards.
Clause 9.5 - Referring to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in promotional material without being specifically required to do so.

The Code of Practice Appeal Board(2) required Thame Laboratories to issue a corrective statement to recipients of the letter at issue. This and the case report were published in the August 2018 Code of Practice Review available at

Notes to Editors:

(1) The advertisements will appear in the British Medical Journal on 27 October, the Nursing Standard on 27 October and the Pharmaceutical Journal on 31 October 2018.

(2) The Code of Practice Appeal Board consists of an independent, legally qualified, chairman and includes independent members, as well as senior executives from pharmaceutical companies. For the consideration of any matter independent members, including the Chair, must be in a majority. Further details are available in the PMCPA Constitution and Procedure.

For more information contact Elly Button 0207 7478884 or 07956437982.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) was established by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) to operate the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry independently of the ABPI. The PMCPA is a division of the ABPI. The Code covers the promotion of medicines for prescribing to health professionals and the provision of information to the public about prescription only medicines. If you have any concerns about the activities of pharmaceutical companies in this regard, please contact the PMCPA at 7th Floor, 105 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6QT or email: The Code and other information, including details about ongoing cases, can be found on the PMCPA website: