GlaxoSmithKline breached the British drug industry's own self-regulatory code of conduct by promoting ropinirole to treat restless legs syndrome before the drug had been approved for that use. The Sunday Times reports that GSK ran ads between September 2004 and November 2005 directing sufferers to the website of the Ekbom Support Group. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's complaints panel, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, ruled that "GSK was, in effect, directing patients to a website that contained misleading messages about the safety of ropinirole, which might indirectly encourage patients to ask their doctors to prescribe it." Some doctors have cited "restless legs syndrome" as an example of disease mongering, where the prevalence of a condition is exaggerated as a way of increasing the potential market for related drugs.
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