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Frequently asked questions about the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority

25/04/2016
For general information about the PMCPA see the Leaflet.
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What is the ABPI Code?

The ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry aims to ensure that the promotion of medicines to health professionals and to other relevant decision makers is carried out within a robust framework to support high quality patient care. The Code also sets standards relating to the provision of information to patients and the public and relationships with patient groups. All ABPI member companies are obliged to comply with the Code and about sixty non-member companies have voluntarily agreed to comply with it.

Pharmaceutical companies are commercial organisations and therefore need to make profits. However as the pharmaceutical industry develops and produces medicines, it is essential that its activities are ethical, fair, factual and appropriate, and ultimately benefit patient care. This is what the Code aims to ensure.
See the interactive 2016 Code​  for more information.
 
How do I get a copy of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry?

More information on where to get copies of the Code can be found in the Download the Code section.
 
Are there any short guides to the ABPI Code which will help me to understand it and what pharmaceutical companies are permitted to do?

To assist in understanding the Code and its operation, the PMCPA is producing a series of quick guides to the Code. Copies of these guides can be downloaded shortly from the  Quick guides to the Code section.
 
What do I do if I have concerns about the activities of a pharmaceutical company?

If you have concerns about the activities of a pharmaceutical company you should contact the PMCPA.  Please see advice on the complaints process​.

How do I make a complaint about a pharmaceutical company?

Anyone can make a complaint to the PMCPA under the Code.
More information on how to complain can be found in the complaints process section.

Will I have to pay any money if I make a complaint?

Administrative charges are payable by pharmaceutical companies (both members and non-members of the ABPI) in relation to complaints made under the Code of Practice.

Healthcare professionals, members of the public or other individuals from outside the pharmaceutical industry do not pay any charges for making a complaint.

More information on charges is available in the Administrative charges section.

What happens if a pharmaceutical company is ruled in breach of the Code?

In each case where a breach of the Code is ruled, the company concerned must give an undertaking that the practice in question has ceased forthwith and that all possible steps have been taken to avoid a similar breach in the future. A number of other sanctions can also be applied.

 
More information on sanctions can be found in the Sanctions section.
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