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Code of Practice

The bedrock of IFPMA’s mission has rested on the establishment and promotion of ethical principles for the pharmaceutical industry. First enacted in 1981, adherence to the IFPMA Code of Practice is a binding requirement of membership at IFPMA.

Key elements of the IFPMA Code of Practice include new provisions on clinical research and transparency, fees for services, support for continuing medical education, interactions with patient organizations, training, and additional information on how complaints should be handled under the IFPMA Code of Practice Operating Procedure.

The IFPMA Code was created in 1981 and has been systematically updated since. The current revision of the IFPMA Code of Practice came into effect on 1 September 2012. This revision expanded the Code’s scope beyond marketing practices to cover interactions with healthcare professionals, medical institutions and patient organizations.

Article 3 of the IFPMA Statutes requires all IFPMA member associations and companies to adhere to the provisions of the IFPMA Code. This means that the promotion of any medicinal product, anywhere in the world, by any company that is a member of IFPMA or a member of an IFPMA member association, must be in accordance with the provisions of the IFPMA Code. IFPMA member associations have developed their own marketing codes, which apply to their respective national territories. These must reflect the standards of the IFPMA Code as a baseline minimum, but may contain more stringent provisions. To ensure transparency, information regarding the IFPMA member association and member company codes is accessible via this site.

IFPMA member associations handle alleged breaches occurring in their respective national territories under their own respective codes. Complaints fall within the scope of the IFPMA Code when they occur in countries where there is no national code, appropriate laws and regulations, or where a member company is not a member of local/regional association. In these cases, IFPMA processes and, if appropriate, investigates alleged infractions. If the IFPMA Code is found to have been breached, IFPMA will publish the name of the company concerned and its offense(s). Information may also be made public in cases where a company fails to respond within the specified time limit.

Complaints can be reported to the IFPMA Secretariat at code@ifpma.org or under the Code of Practice Complaint Submission page.

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