Lilly award themselves a NICE recommendation for olanzapine

Recent marketing information to doctors (see scanned copy) from Lilly, the manufacturers of olanzapine, comes with a rosette on the front, labelled "NICE recommended". This is not the first time a pharmaceutical company has used the name of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) ( to support the marketing of atypical neuroleptics (see It would be NICE to control the marketing of risperidone).

It is true that NICE recommends that olanzapine, within its licensed indication, is an option for the treatment of acute episodes of mania. However, olanzapine is not licensed for maintenance treatment and NICE did not find it possible to make a recommendation about when it should be discontinued after treatment of the acute manic episode. If prescribing is to continue within the license it may be better if olanzapine is not started for a manic episode.

The references quoted in the marketing information are either from Lilly Research Laboratories, the Lilly summary of product characteristics or a medical writing company, presumably on behalf of Lilly. Lilly, therefore, controls the data in this area. No wonder they can award themselves a NICE recommendation.

I have written to NICE asking if they are going to control the use of their name in pharmaceutical marketing (copy of letter).


D B Double
Consultant Psychiatrist
Norfolk mental Health Care NHS Trust