Does Novartis AG Feel Sheepish for Marketing Violation?

Published: Nov 30, 2012

The overwhelming majority of promotional violations that concern those who track promotional violations committed by the pharmaceutical industry – regulators, advertising specialists, attorneys, watchdogs and brand marketers – involve marketing material for medicines taken by humans. But infractions also occur when drugs are promoted for creatures in the animal kingdom. A recent example involved sheep. Novartis Animal Health (NVS) was tagged by the National Office of Animal Health in the UK for overstating the benefits of its Zolvix treatment for worms in a promotion contained in the National Sheep Association’s Scotsheep 2012 event last June. Specifically, the promotional phrasing used by the drugmaker “constituted an all-embracing claim and a superlative which could not be substantiated,” according to the regulator (look here). This violated a section of the code that says “claims must not imply that an animal medicine, or an active ingredient, has some special merit, quality or property unless this can be substantiated."

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