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Drug Company Takes Rap for Burson-Marsteller's Cash Offer to Journalists
The U.K. drug industry's self regulatory body, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), has censured Janssen-Cilag after an employee from its PR firm, Burson-Marsteller (B-M), offered journalists cash if they attended a hearing of the government drug regulator. The offer related to a public hearing on Jannsen-Cilag's appeal against a decision against approving the drug Eprex before the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. "As it is possible that the hearing will take up most of the day, and we understand that your time is valuable, we are able to offer £200 (€293) if you wish to attend," the B-M employee wrote (sub req'd). The PMCPA found that Janssen-Cilag, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was responsible for B-M's actions. In June B-M told PR Week the offer was a "human error" but has declined to comment (sub req'd) on whether the employee still works for the firm.