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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

PMCPA Code of Practice update

The Prescriptions Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) has released an update version of the Code of Practice.

This revision contains several amendments relating to greater transparency when the pharmaceutical industry provides financial support to individuals and patient groups.

  • Companies will have to make publicly available a short description of their support for patient organisations for both financial and significant indirect support.
  • Sponsorship declarations must accurately reflect the nature of the company’s involvement.
  • It will be a breach of the code to fail to disclose details on ongoing clinical trials.
  • Companies will need to have a contract for health professionals and others employed as consultants, and are strongly encouraged to require consultants to declare this as an interest.
  • Companies are also encouraged to make publicly available information about donations and grants to institutions etc that support healthcare and research.

Additional changes include:

  • More guidance about meetings and hospitality.
  • Additional limitations over the supply of samples.
  • The publication of interim case reports when publication of the final report is delayed because the company’s procedures require audit.
  • Advertisements for the outcome of certain cases will now appear in the nursing media as well as in medical and pharmaceutical journals.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the Code of Practice and the recent revisions. Clinicians should consider lodging a complaint when they believe the Code has been breached.

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