AUTH/3322/3/20 - Complainant v Bayer

Alleged disguised promotion of Xarelto

  • Received
    10 March 2020
  • Case number
  • Applicable Code year
  • Completed
    17 June 2020
  • No breach Clause(s)
  • Additional sanctions
  • Appeal
    No appeal

Case Summary

A complainant who described him/herself as a concerned UK health professional, complained that two videos, commissioned by Bayer and hosted on the ‘Guidelines in Practice’ website, were disguised promotion for Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

The complainant submitted that neither the disclaimer at the top or the bottom of the videos spelt out that they were promotional – the only clue was a link to prescribing information. The wording in the disclaimer stated ‘commissioned’ and ‘suggested the topic’ and so this appeared to be disguised promotion.

The detailed response from Bayer is given below.

The Panel noted that, at the outset, there was a statement on the webpage hosting the videos that the development of the Guidelines in Practice videos had been commissioned by Bayer with a more detailed description of the company’s involvement at the bottom of each webpage. Readers’ attention was also drawn, at the outset, to a link to prescribing information. In the Panel’s view, whilst it might have caused confusion by referring to the videos as Guidelines in Practice videos, health professionals visiting the webpage at issue would be immediately aware that the videos were developed by Bayer and would be likely to assume that they would include material on Bayer’s medicines and therefore be promotional. The Panel did not consider that the promotional nature of the videos had been disguised. No breach was ruled.