Mundipharma fined for misleading advertising of opioids

Matt Woodley

23/12/2019 12:49:37 PM

The international affiliate of Purdue Pharma was issued 24 infringement notices by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Packet of Targin medication.
The TGA alleged that the company’s advertising of Targin to health professionals was misleading. Photo: AAP

Mundipharma has paid penalties of $302,400 for infringement notices related to claims regarding nine opioid medicines marketed under the name Targin.
A ‘global network of independent associated companies’ owned by the Sackler family, Mundipharma has annual revenues in excess of €1 billion in Europe alone.
A Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) release stated the regulator had formed the view that Mundipharma had breached the conditions of registration for nine Targin medicines.
It alleged that the company’s advertising to health professionals was misleading, imbalanced and otherwise inaccurate, making it in breach of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct regarding promotional materials directed to health professionals.
In particular, the TGA was concerned that Mundipharma had recommended the use of Targin as part of a multimodal pain management plan for chronic non-cancer pain.
But while Mundipharma has paid the infringement notices, the TGA release specifically states it is not an admission of guilt or liability. A Mundipharma spokesperson has also previously denied wrongdoing in an interview with newsGP.
Mundipharma has recently been criticised for allegedly utilising ‘fake doctors’ and ‘pilfered medical records’ to push OxyContin sales in China.
It has also begun marketing medicine that treats the type of addiction and overdoses it is accused of causing, while forensic accounting company AlixPartners alleges Mundipharma is one of a number of companies that received $1.6 billion in transfers after Purdue began attracting the attention of regulators.
Overall, the Sacklers allegedly withdrew US$12 billion from Purdue Pharma over 13 years, before the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year amidst legal action from 48 US states over its role in the opioid crisis.
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