About us

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) is the self-regulatory body which administers the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry, independently of the ABPI.  It was established by the ABPI on 1 January 1993.   

The PMCPA is a division of the ABPI which is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, No 09826787.

Registered office: 7th Floor, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT.  Tel  020 7747 8880    

Who we are and what we do

The PMCPA:

  • operates the complaints procedure under which the materials and activities of pharmaceutical companies are considered in relation to the requirements of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry (the Code)
  • provides advice and guidance on the Code
  • provides training on the Code
  • arranges conciliation between pharmaceutical companies when requested to do so
  • scrutinises samples of advertising and meetings.

The PMCPA is not an investigatory body as such.  When considering a complaint it asks the respondent company for a complete response and may ask the parties involved in a case for further information in order to clarify the issues. 

It is essentially an adversarial process in which the evidence to be taken into account comes from the complainant and the respondent company, though the Authority can seek evidence from third parties where necessary.  A complainant has the burden of proving their complaint on the balance of probabilities, by providing evidence and clarity of allegations as to the clauses that are alleged to have been breached.

Those with concerns about a pharmaceutical company's materials or activities in relation to the Code can submit a complaint to the PMCPA. Anyone can submit a complaint and it is important that all health professionals, especially those with prescribing responsibilities, report any concerns. The complaint procedure can be found here.

Details about the number, source and outcomes of complaints handled by the PMCPA, including the companies that have breached Clause 2 of the Code, can be found in our our 2017 Annual Report here.  Details of individual cases are available in case reports, here.

Detailed information about how the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority works, its structure and responsibilities, complaints and appeal procedures and general ways of working can be found in the Constitution and Procedure of the PMCPA, here.