Clause 18 - Prohibition on Inducements and Inappropriate Payments, the Provision of Items for Patients, Health Professionals and Other Relevant Decision Makers, Agreements to Benefit Patients such as Outcome Agreements and Patient Access Schemes
18.1 No gift, pecuniary advantage or benefit may be supplied, offered or promised to members of the health professions or to other relevant decision makers in connection with the promotion of medicines or as an inducement to prescribe, supply, administer, recommend, buy or sell any medicine, subject to the provisions of Clauses 18.2 and 18.3.
Clause 18.1 Health Professionals’ Codes of Conduct
Clause 18.1 Terms of Trade
Clause 18.1 Package Deals
Clause 18.1 Outcome or Risk Sharing Agreements
Clause 18.1 Patient Access Schemes
Clause 18.1 Donations to Charities
Clause 18.1 Payments to Individuals
Clause 18.1 Long term or Permanent Loan
Clause 18.1 Competitions and Quizzes
Clause 18.1 Promotional Aids
Clause 18.1 DVDs
Clause 18.1 Memory Sticks
Clause 18.1 Textbooks
18.2 Health professionals may be provided with items which are to be passed on to patients and which are part of a formal patient support programme, the details of which have been appropriately documented and certified in advance as required by Clause 14.3.
The items provided must be inexpensive and directly benefit patient care. They may bear the name of the company providing them. They must not be given out from exhibition stands. They must not be given to administrative staff unless they are to be passed on to a health professional.
18.3 Health professionals and other relevant decision makers attending company organised scientific meetings and conferences, promotional meetings and the like may be provided with inexpensive notebooks, pens and pencils for use at those meetings. They must not bear the name of any medicine or any information about medicines but may bear the name of the company providing them. If pens and pads are provided in conference bags at third party organised meetings then these must not include the names of the donor companies, the name of any medicine or any information about medicines.
The idea is usually that delegates are given a conference 'passport' upon which they can collect stamps from each exhibitor by visiting their stands. Passports with a full set of stamps are then placed in a prize raffle, typically for a Kindle or iPad mini etc.
Pharmaceutical companies participating in passport competitions, treasure hunts or the like risk breaching the Code as delegates will be required to visit their stands, which will almost certainly be promoting medicines, to collect passport stickers. In the Authority's view such schemes are unacceptable under the Code. They do not involve bona fide tests of skill as set out in the supplementary information to Clause 18.1 and include exhibition stands contrary to the supplementary information to Clause 18.1. The giving of prizes in association with quizzes and competitions is always unacceptable irrespective of the nature of the gift.
The only items that can be given to individual health professionals must satisfy the requirements set out in Clause 18 and its supplementary information. The involvement of a pharmaceutical company in the provision of any items beyond those set out in the Code would, in the Authority's view, be unacceptable in relation to Clause 18 regardless of the cost to the company.
That a passport scheme or treasure hunt is organised by a third party would be immaterial as pharmaceutical companies are responsible under the Code for any activity undertaken by themselves, or with their authority, which promotes the administration, consumption, prescription, purchase, recommendation, sale, supply or use of their medicines (Clause 1.2 of the Code refers). By participating in such schemes, companies would be giving their authority for the schemes to be conducted on their behalf.