MSD Animal Health found in breach of NOAH Code on promotion

At its meeting on 12 December 2014, the NOAH Code of Practice Committee, chaired by Mr Guy Tritton, heard one case.

MSD Animal Health was found to be in breach of the item under complaint. This related to an advertisement for Equilis Prequenza which appeared in three separate issues of Veterinary Times (15, 22 and 29 September 2014) and on the rear back cover of the 2014 BEVA Congress proceedings, as well as on the inside back cover of the 2014 Congress Planner. It contained the phrase “Neuraminidase antibodies provided a degree of protection in the case of HA strain/vaccine mismatch”, when viewed against the context of the advertisement headed “Why have part when you can have it all?”.

The Committee’s view was that the item in the context of the advertisement was intended to mean, and did convey, the meaning that the inclusion of NA antigens in an equine vaccine gave that vaccine a clinical advantage over vaccines which did not. This claim was not substantiated. Accordingly, the Committee found the phrase in breach of Code of Practice Clauses 4.1(iii) misleading, 4.1(vi) contained an exaggerated claim, 4.1(vii) implied it had a special merit which was not substantiated, 4.2(i) was not accurate and 4.2(ii) was not based upon an up-to-date evaluation of all the evidence.

NOAH encourages those interested in finding out more to read the full details of the Committee’s rulings on the NOAH website at The full report of this particular case will be available shortly.

13 February 2015

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information contact Dawn Howard at NOAH, tel. +44 (0)20 8367 3131, or visit the code section of the NOAH website.

  2. The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.

  3. Since 1974 the animal medicine industry has regulated the contents and quality of advertisements, leaflets and promotional activities under its Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines which is obligatory for all NOAH members and companies participating in the NOAH Datasheet Compendium. The Code is administered by a committee of 15, including an independent chairman, veterinary and farming members as well as elected industry experts. This release summarises the Code of Practice Committee meeting on 12 December 2014.