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ABPI launches updated Code of Practice

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has launched its new Code of Practice, containing updated principles to make the Code ‘easier for companies to use’.
The 2021 APBI Code of Practice, which is set to come into force on 1 July, has also been updated to reflect changes in the environment that pharma companies currently operate in. Changes have also been implemented to reflect updates to the European Code.
The Code is used by the industry to self-regulate its commitments to operate in a professional, ethical and transparent manner for the benefit of both patients and the public.
The new Code aims to increase transparency, while other updates will aim to help companies work with the NHS within an ethical framework.
Among the changes to the Code are its layout, with the new code now arrange in sixed themed sections:

  • overarching requirements
  • promotion to health professionals and other relevant decision makers
  • interactions with health professionals, other relevant decision makers and healthcare organisations
  • interactions with health professionals, other relevant decision makers, healthcare organisations, patient organisations and the public
  • specific requirements for interactions with the public, including patients, journalists and patient organisations
  • annual disclosure requirements.

Other changes include the introduction of collaborative working with healthcare organisations, a new requirement to disclose payments in aggregate for contracted services paid to members of the public and changes to the Medical and Educational Goods and Services (MEGS).
The update Code also reflects the impact of the pandemic, recognising that temporary supply authorisations for medicines may be given in public health emergencies.
“We are proud of our Code which holds companies to standards which go above and beyond the law,’ said Richard Torbett, chief executive of the ABPI.
“The 2021 version of the Code has seen a substantial overhaul, and I’m confident that it will help companies keep to high standards and forge transparent and collaborative relationships for the benefit of patients,” he added.
The ABPI added in a statement that it is putting an ‘increased emphasis’ on its Principles, which exist alongside the Code.