Today, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Board of Directors adopted measures to enhance the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals.
Among its changes, the revised Code (learn more here):
Prohibits distribution of non-educational items (such as pens, mugs and other “reminder” objects typically adorned with a company or product logo) to healthcare providers and their staff. The Code acknowledges that such items, even though of minimal value, “may foster misperceptions that company interactions with healthcare professionals are not based on informing them about medical and scientific issues.”
Regarding CME, the new code specifically states that a pharmaceutical company should separate its CME grant-making functions from its sales and marketing departments.
Regarding use of non-patient identified prescriber data, the new code specifies that companies should voluntarily respect and abide by the wishes of any healthcare professional who asks that his or her prescriber data not be made available to company sales representatives.
Regarding disclosure requirements for healthcare providers who are members of committees that set formularies or develop clinical practice guidelines and who also serve as speakers or consultants for a pharmaceutical company, the new code specifies that pharmaceutical companies should require these healthcare providers to disclose to the committee the existence and nature of his or her relationship with the company. This disclosure requirement should extend for at least two years beyond the termination of any speaker or consultant arrangement.
Regarding compliance, the new code states that companies that publicly announce their commitment to abide by the Code and who complete an annual certification that they have policies and procedures in place to foster compliance with the Code will be identified by PhRMA on a public web site. The certification must be signed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.
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