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ABPI consults on major overhaul of Code of Practice

The ABPI has launched a public consultation on the proposed 2021 ABPI Code of Practice for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies, patient organisations, NHS bodies, those who work in health care and others are being asked for their views on what is described as “a new look, more user-friendly ABPI Code of Practice”.

The Code is the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to operate in a professional, ethical and transparent manner and is the cornerstone of the UK system of industry self-regulation. It both includes and extends beyond UK law.

The changes being consulted on update the ABPI’s Code in line with the 2019 European Code of Practice, which is required to be implemented by member associations. One key change is that the proposed new Code will be arranged into six themed sections according to the activity or audience. The sections are:

  • Overarching requirements
  • Promotion of medicines to health professionals and other relevant decision makers
  • Interactions with health professionals, other relevant decision makers and health care organisations
  • Interactions with health professionals, other relevant decision makers and health care organisations, patient organisations and the public including patients and journalists
  • Interactions with the public including patients, journalists etc and patient organisations
  • Annual disclosure requirements.

The proposals for the Code would result in the most significant structural change in nearly 30 years. The consultation closes on 8 September.

Once approved the new ABPI Code will be published by 1 January 2021. The 2019 Code of Practice will remain in force until 30 June 2021 and the 2021 Code will come into force on 1 July 2021.

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