Industry Codes of Practice

Executive Summary

Alongside the legal duties of pharmaceutical companies, there are also responsibilities to comply with industry codes of conduct.

In this section we discuss the ABPI Code of Practice, which governs many of the actions of pharmaceutical companies in the UK. Whilst the Code itself is not binding law, it aligns closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s Blue Guide (governmental document regarding the advertising and promotion of medicines in the UK). We demonstrate some of the Code breaches around advisory boards, and point out some of the common pitfalls encountered by organisations.

We also discuss the IFPMA Code of Practice, which governs the actions of regional and national pharmaceutical associations such as ABPI, but tends to advocate practices already well-established in Europe and North America. We discuss the January 2019 iteration of the IFPMA Code and identify some key changes, particularly with regards to gifts, fees and event sponsorship.