Pharmaceutical industry decides against promotional products
A recent article published by EPPI, reported that The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EFPIA, published its new transparency code on July 2, 2013, which had been formally approved at the general meeting on June 24. According to the press release posted on the EFPIA website, Article 10 of the old code, which allowed for the gift of promotional products up to the value of five Euros, has been deleted.
Article 10 has been replaced by the following modification: “No gift or pecuniary advantage (in cash or benefit in kind) may be supplied, offered or promised to a healthcare professional.” As such the code no longer differentiates between “inexpensive” – and thus “permissible“ – and “forbidden gifts”, thus banning gifts altogether. According to a further modification, which is to be included in the code as a new article; the provision of informative or educational material directly relevant to the practice of medicine or pharmacy and directly beneficial to the care of patients, is permitted provided that it is “inexpensive”. “Items of medical utility”, which are used to directly provide information to people employed in health care or which serve to enhance the well-being of the patient, are also allowed as long as they are “inexpensive”. There are very few promotional products that fall under this category.
The modifications will be included in the code and will come into force as planned on January 1, 2014.
It is reported that the German Promotional Products Umbrella Association (GWW) and The European Promotional Products Association (EPPA) are both challenging the legal position of this decision.
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