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ABPI consulting on Code of Conduct changes

Published on 31/07/15 at 08:23am
ABPI sign
The ABPI Code of Conduct arm is consulting on proposed changes to the 2015 Code

The division of the ABPI that sets rules governing industry behaviour is consulting on changes to reflect new rules on individual payments to healthcare professionals.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) is consulting on proposed changes to the ABPI code. Among other changes, the Code will be updated to reflect the end of disclosure of aggregate payments to healthcare professionals.

The consultation document says: “There are a number of reasons for the changes including the work done by the group established by the ABPI... Changes are also needed to take account of the end of the transition from the aggregate disclosure (2012 Code) of certain payments.”

In 2016 the ABPI will switch to a new system where companies will have to reveal individual payments made to healthcare professionals.

From 30 June, companies will be reporting payments made to individual, named, healthcare professionals, starting with payments made during 2015, on a searchable database managed by the ABPI. This year the ABPI published figures showing the UK pharma industry made £41 million in payments to healthcare professionals.

The new system will include payments for four categories of activity: registration fees for meetings and events, travel and accommodation, fees for consultancy and services, and expenses for consultancy and services.

But the consultation document makes clear that there is no need for companies to include in the 2016 Code their 2013 and 2014 disclosures, as these should all be disclosed in 2015 and covered by previous versions of the Code.

Other changes include alterations to delete a clause that states new product launches must not be made known to the public until reasonable steps have been taken to inform the medical and pharmaceutical professions of its availability, for ‘common sense’ reasons.

The consultation runs until 11 September. The proposals are available here.

Lilian Anekwe

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