New IFPMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices

An updated version of the IFPMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices entered into force on 1 January 2007. The new Code, whose applicability extends to every country and is required of all IFPMA members, imposes even stricter and clearer requirements on pharmaceutical companies, to ensure the ethical promotion of their products to health care professionals. IFPMA Director General Dr. Harvey E. Bale said: “The updated provisions of our new Code reflect the industry’s concern to underscore that its life-saving products are promoted in an ethical manner.

They apply in every country around the world, and we have taken particular care to prepare member associations and companies for the advent of the new Code; indeed, we started communicating it to them back in June of last year, to ensure they would have adequate time to prepare for its stricter provisions regarding international events, company sponsorship of health care professionals, the provision of hospitality and entertainment, as well as its more precise definitions of acceptable gifts.”

Dr Bale added: “If someone feels that a specific action undertaken after the beginning of this year by a pharmaceutical company to market its product(s) to health care professionals is in breach of the new Code, I urge them to write to me, documenting the details that they are aware of. The allegation will be investigated and the complainant will be informed of the outcome in a timely fashion. If the company concerned has been found to have broken the ethical rules in the new Code, we will publicly announce the company’s name and obtain the company’s written agreement to end the objectionable practice(s) concerned. He concluded: “We recognize that rules provide direction, but it is attitude that drives behavior.

To that end, we will be continuing the work of the IFPMA Code Compliance network, which we started in 2006, to bring together compliance officers from member companies and associations, to share best practice in informing company sales and marketing people about what they can and can’t do, with an emphasis on teaching respect for the spirit as well as the letter of the rules of the Code.”

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