4 Code of Practice Appeal Board – Procedure


4.1 The Appeal Board meets as business requires to consider appeals under the Code and any other matter which relates to the Code. The Appeal Board receives reports on all complaints which have been submitted under the Code and details of the action taken on them.

4.2 The Chair and seven members of the Appeal Board constitute a quorum. Four of those present, in addition to the Chair, must be independent members, at least one of whom must be a registered medical practitioner, and there must also be present three members from pharmaceutical companies, at least one of whom must be a registered medical practitioner.

For the consideration of any particular case, or a report under Paragraph 11 below, independent members, including the Chair, must be in a majority.

In the event that a quorum cannot be attained for the consideration of a case because of the number of members barred under Paragraph 4.4 below, or for any other reason, the Chair may co-opt appropriate persons who are former members of the Appeal Board, or who are on a list of persons approved for co-option to the Appeal Board, so as to enable a quorum to be achieved. The list of persons approved for co-option is drawn up following procedures similar to those for appointing members of the Appeal Board. No one may be co-opted in relation to any case in which he has acted as a referee in accordance with Paragraphs 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 7.2, 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6 below.

4.3 Decisions are made by majority voting. The Chair has both an original and a casting vote.

Rulings are made on the basis that a complainant has the burden of proving their complaint on the balance of probabilities.

4.4 If a member of the Appeal Board is concerned in a case either as complainant or respondent, that member does not receive copies of the papers circulated in connection with the case and is required to withdraw from the Appeal Board during its consideration.

The complainant and the respondent are advised in advance of the membership of the Appeal Board, including potential co-optees, and asked if they have any objections to particular members and the grounds for such objections. Any member in respect of whom there are valid objections must withdraw from the Appeal Board during consideration of the case. The Chair determines whether objections are valid.

Members of the Appeal Board must declare any other interest in a case prior to its consideration. Having consulted the representatives of the parties (if present), the Chair determines whether it is appropriate for a particular member to remain for the consideration of the case.

4.5 The Chair may obtain expert assistance in any field. Expert advisors may be invited to attend a meeting of the Appeal Board but have no voting rights.

4.6 When an appeal is considered by the Appeal Board, both the complainant and the respondent company are entitled to appear or be represented.

The first presentation in relation to a ruling which is appealed is made by the appellant.

A company may not be represented before the Appeal Board by a representative who is also a member of the Appeal Board except with the consent of the Chair. Such consent may be given only if the member of the Appeal Board can satisfy the Chair that no other person within his/her company can properly represent it in the case in question.

4.7 Where an appeal is brought which is concerned with an issue of fact between a complainant and the company concerned which cannot be properly resolved without the oral evidence of the persons directly involved, the Chair may invite such persons to attend and give evidence.