The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's new Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry has been criticised in the British Medical Journal for "lacking teeth". The article is available online.
As already report, the new Code does not come into force until January 2006 but it has already been attacked for being "fundamentally weak" by the editor of the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin. Professor Andrew Herxheimer of the Cochrane Centre also stated that, "not much has changed".
Action: Despite the weaknesses of the new code Clinicians should be aware of the Code of Practice and also be prepared to make complaints to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.