Proposals to update the 2021 ABPI Code of Practice

Proposals to update the 2021 ABPI Code of Practice for the pharmaceutical industry are being consulted on by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA).

The ABPI Code regulates the promotion of prescription medicines to UK health professionals, industry interactions with health professionals, and the provision of information about prescription-only medicines to the public, including patients, journalists, and patient organisations.

The PMCPA has opened a consultation which closes on 29th February. The consultation contains proposals to change specific clauses in the Code, as well as changes to the Constitution and Procedure of the PMCPA. Of interest is a key review of Clause 12 (Prescribing Information and other obligatory information) to include the use of QR codes to access Prescribing Information from printed materials – this is also to future proof the clause. These changes were developed in full consultation with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

All submissions and suggestions will be reviewed and considered in the development of the final version of the 2024 ABPI Code. This will then be provided to the ABPI Board together with an anonymised summary of the comments. The ABPI Board will agree the final proposals which will then be considered at a general meeting of ABPI Members for approval. Once approved, the 2024 Code will be published in Q2 2024 and will come into force three months after publication date.

James Hall