Observer investigation finds Novo Nordisk gave millions to obesity charities and healthcare professionals, including expert who advised Nice
The drug giant behind weight loss injections newly approved for NHS use spent millions in just three years on an “orchestrated PR campaign” to boost its UK influence.
The presence of conflicts of interest in research can engender the suspicion that the research is compromised in some way and the stated results are questionable. This is doubly so when conflicts are exposed or someone other than the researchers. Irrespective of how accurate this report from the UK is, it highlights why it is always better to err on the side of caution and disclose what others might consider a conflict, even if we believe it is not.
Among the vocal champions of the Wegovy jabs was a clinical expert who gave evidence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) and others who publicly praised the so-called “skinny jabs” as a “gamechanger”.
The revelations come as the Danish drug giant is investigated by the UK’s pharmaceutical watchdog after it was found to have breached the industry code seven times in relation to a “disguised promotional campaign” of another of its weight loss drugs via online webinars for healthcare professionals.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said it had ordered an audit of the firm’s practices and company culture to establish whether the breaches were a one-off or part of a wider web of compliance failures.