Clause 19.1 do not prevent the provision of donations and grants. They must not be provided to individuals.
The requirement in Clause 23.2 that donations must not bear the name of any medicine does not apply where the donation is an independently produced textbook or journal which includes as part of its texts the names of medicines.
Donations as a good or service may bear a corporate name. The involvement of a pharmaceutical company in such activities must be made clear to those receiving a service. In addition, the involvement of a pharmaceutical company in any services should be made clear to patients. Such involvement should also be clear in any associated materials for patients. Clause 5.5 would apply.
Companies should be clear regarding the role of staff in the provision of donations and grants, particularly the role of representatives. Companies should consider using staff other than representatives. If companies decide to use representatives in relation to donations and grants, then this should be in accordance with the principles set out below:
i. the acceptability of the role of representatives will depend on the nature of the donation or grant and the method of provision
ii. representatives may introduce a donation or no more than a call for grant applications by means of a brief description and/or delivering materials but may not instigate a detailed discussion about the donation or grant at the same time as a call or contact at which products are promoted
iii. if representatives provide, deliver or demonstrate a donation or grant, then this must not be linked in any way to the promotion of products. In order to comply with this, the representative must not carry out both activities at the same call or contact
iv. if, during a promotional call or contact by a representative, a change in medication to one of the company’s products is agreed, the representative may not then offer a donation or grant to facilitate the change in medication as this would be seen as a way for the company to ensure that the agreed change would in fact be made.
In addition, companies should consider the following in relation to donations in the form of a service:
v. the nature of the service provider and the person associated with the provision of the service is important, ie is the service provider a suitably qualified person, such as a health professional? If the service requires patient contact, for example, either directly or by identification of patients from patient records and the like, then representatives must not be involved. Only a suitably qualified person, such as a health professional, not employed as a representative, may undertake activities relating to patient contact and/or patient identification
vi. neither the company nor its representatives may be given access to data/records that could identify, or could be linked to, particular patients
vii. health professionals involved in the delivery of services are required to adhere to all relevant professional standards of conduct (see supplementary information to Clause 10.1). There should be no promotion of specific products by those health professionals
viii. the remuneration of those not employed as representatives but who are engaged to deliver a service as service providers must not be linked to sales in any particular territory or place or to sales of a specific product or products and, in particular, may not include a bonus scheme linked to such sales. Bonus schemes linked to a company’s overall national performance, or to the level of service provided, may be acceptable
ix. service providers must operate to detailed written instructions provided by the company. These should be similar to the briefing material for representatives as referred to in Clause 17.9. The written instructions should set out the role of the service provider and should cover patient confidentiality issues. Instructions on how the recipients are to be informed etc should be included. The written instructions must not advocate, either directly or indirectly, any course of action which would be likely to lead to a breach of the Code
x. service providers must abide by the principle set out in Clause 17.5 that in an interview, or when seeking an appointment, reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that they do not mislead as to their identity or that of the sponsoring pharmaceutical company
xi. a recipient of a service must be provided with sufficient written information to avoid misunderstandings as to what the recipient has agreed. The identity of the sponsoring pharmaceutical company must be given
xii. any material designed for use in relation to the provision of a service must be non-promotional. It is not acceptable for such materials to promote the administration, consumption, prescription, purchase, recommendation, sale, supply or use of the sponsoring company’s medicines. Nor is it acceptable for materials to criticise competitor products as this might be seen as promotional
xiii. material relating to the provision of a service, such as internal instructions, external instructions, the written information for recipients and other material, must be certified as required by Clause 8.3
xiv. a copy of the materials must be made available to the PMCPA on request
xv. companies are recommended to inform relevant NHS or other organisations of their activities where appropriate. This is particularly recommended where companies are proposing to provide a service which would have budgetary implications for the parties involved.