Merck Quietly Withdraws Three European iPhone Apps: DigitalPharma

There could be any number of reasons for pulling these apps — but non-approved DTC advertising concerns might be toward the top of the list. DTC — or “direct to consumer” advertising — is not permitted in the United Kingdom, you see.

It might also have to do with concerns that the Remicade doing app, in particular, would tend to substitute an algorithm for the doctor’s learned advice and judgment.

Finally — as to all of them — Merck would be almost certainly be liable for any errors in the apps, should an overdose occur, after consulting the app(s) — for example. Here is a snippet of the story, from InPharm’s DigitalPharma high-end blog; do go read it all:

. . . .Also no longer available on the iTunes store are five apps from Merck – the Temodar Dosing Calculator, DAS28 Calculator for Healthcare Professionals, Remicade Dosage Calculator for Healthcare Professionals, Remicade RRP Matrix for Healthcare Professionals and Bridion Dose Calculator.

The Remicade and Bridion apps were unusual in being branded apps produced solely for the UK market. . . .

To be fair, Pfizer has pulled a few apps aimed at the Spanish market, as well. While I promise we will keep you posted, the hugely popular Merck Manuals do remain available as iPhone App Store purchases, as depicted below. In my estimation, the digitized version of this best-selling paperback and hardcover reference tool is, and should remain, perfectly appropriate for iPhone App Store distribution. Click to enlarge:


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