Pharmaceutical companies were fined a record €836,000 in the Netherlands last year for making unlawful advertising claims and giving gifts to doctors and pharmacists, the Volkskrant says on Thursday.
The paper, which obtained the figures using freedom of information legislation, says the biggest fine handed out was €300,000, but that this was halved on appeal.
The names of the companies concerned were not made public.
Since 2007 when the advertising rules for pharmaceuticals were tightened up, health ministry inspectors have handed down fines totalling almost €2m, the paper says.
The offences include advertising prescription drugs, providing suggestive or incomplete information and giving presents or other ‘rewards’ to healthcare professionals.
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