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Sponsorship and unrestricted educational grants

01/04/2015

Clause 9.10 of the Code states that material relating to medicines and their uses,  whether promotional in nature or not, and information relating to human health or diseases which is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company must clearly indicate that it has been sponsored by that company. The relevant supplementary information also requires that such declarations of sponsorship must be sufficiently prominent to ensure that readers of sponsored material are aware of it at the onset.

Companies must also ensure, however, that the wording of the declaration of sponsorship accurately reflects the company’s involvement. For instance, it would be misleading to refer to an ‘unrestricted educational grant’ on a piece which has been initiated by a company and which consists almost wholly of data supplied by the company, even if the piece itself had been written by a third party. An arm’s length arrangement should not be implied when in practice a company has been inextricably linked to the production of a piece. The same principle should be applied when declaring sponsorship of meetings.