IPCAA, as part of its global role on behalf of its members, undertakes constant efforts to promote information and education on aspects of pharmaceutical industry codes which impact on the organisation of and participation at medical meetings. The notes below are offered as basic guidance for those wishing to obtain more information and understanding.
Voluntary pharmaceutical industry codes of conduct and ethics, have been around in different forms for more than 30 years. Their aim is to ensure that interactions between pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals related to prescription medicines, are conducted ethically, acceptably and in the full interests of patients.
Codes exist at different levels – international, regional and national - and are compiled, revised and implemented by various Associations representing the pharmaceutical industry.
As far as congress participation is concerned, the codes regulate such aspects as choice of venue, sponsorship levels for accommodation, travel and hospitality (entertainment, meals, gifts etc).
Codes are constantly under review based on experience, feedback and changing attitudes. Interpretation of codes can vary from time to time, depending on specific corporate compliance policies and legal interpretations.
Advice of a general nature can be obtained by contacting IPCAA
For enquiries of a specific nature, the following specialist contacts are recommended:
(International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations)
(European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations)
For some time now, the IPCAA has been very active in helping to promote awareness and understanding on behalf of pharmaceutical industry, of the increasing regulatory constraints under which sponsoring organisations have to work. For a time, there were clear and even fundamental differences between the restrictions placed on pharma and non-pharma corporations in terms of their interactions with healthcare professionals. It is now apparent, however, that healthcare industry codes of conduct, codes of ethics etc are very much coming into line, whatever the original starting point.
IPCAA is able to play a major role in promoting awareness and understanding of regulatory code conditions, both within the healthcare industry, and also to other stakeholders such as meetings planners, medical associations, PCOs, DMCs, etc. IPCAA also believes that ultimately, one single code could be realised, covering all parts of healthcare industry – to the benefit of all parties involved.
Note: IPCAA maintains a full listing of current (national, regional, international) regulatory codes for the pharmaceutical industry on the members’ section of its website. A selection of other healthcare industry associations’ codes is also available there and both sets of information are regularly reviewed and updated as a service to members.