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ABPI to increase transparency and trust

Members of the ABPI have voted for amendments to the Code of Practice to boost transparency between pharma and healthcare professionals

Members of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) have voted in favour of amendments to the ABPI Code of Practice to help increase transparency of working practices between pharma and healthcare professionals and help increase trust.

Simon Jose, president of the ABPI said: "We operate in a world where customers' and society's expectations of our industry have increased and it is only right that we adapt to this. It is both important and absolutely right that we have a professional and meaningful relationship with healthcare professionals – these changes ensure that this will continue to be done in a transparent and appropriate manner.”

"We want to shift the debate to focus on how we can improve health outcomes for patients through science and innovation. This vote is a strong symbolic indicator of change and a positive step towards increasing trust in industry as a partner in the healthcare system," he added.

The new code comes into operation from January 1, 2011 with various transition periods. The newly introduced requirements will not come into effect until May 1, 2011. From this point on, pharma will no longer provide branded promotional items to healthcare professionals. Only inexpensive items will be allowed to be passed on and used by patients as part of a formal patient support programme.

Companies will also have to declare payments to healthcare professionals for services including speaker fees, advisory boards and consultancy, and sponsorship for attendance at meetings on an annual basis. The first declaration will be made in 2013 for payments made in 2012.

2nd November 2010

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