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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

No more free pens

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has voted in favour of several changes to the Code of Practice to "increase transparency and trust".

The changes will be incorporated into the Code of Practice on the 1st January 2011 but enforcement of the newly introduced requirement will start of the 1st May 2011. The main changes are:

  • the industry will no longer provide branded promotional items to healthcare professionals
  • inexpensive items to be passed on and used by patients as part of a formal patient support programme are allowed
  • companies will also have to declare payments to healthcare professionals each year

More details of the changes are available from the Prescription Medicine Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA). An updated version of the Code of Practice will be available to download shortly with print copies available by the end of the year.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the changes to the ABPI Code of Practice and the phased introduction of the new requirements. These most recent updates are the end of the line for drug name branded pens and sticky pads!

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6 Comments to “No more free pens”

  1. [...] previously discussed, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) recently ratified some changes to [...]

    Pingback by Prescribing Advice for GPs » ABPI code of Practice 2011 — November 25, 2010 #

  2. -NoGracias is the Spanish association promoting fair relationship with industries, similar to Nofreelunch.
    -NoGracias is promoting a campaign for labeling meetings as "free of industrial/bussiness smoke" to conferences/congress/seminars/meetings and any educational activity that have no sponsorship of any industry/bussiness "for profit".
    -We ask to label the meeting and to lend know it, so at the end of the year we can count how many meetings have proudly carry the label: "Libre de humos industriales/empresariales" (Sin patrocinio de negocios con ánimo de lucro, ni medicamentos, ni alimentos, ni tecnología, ni servicios, ni otros) ["Free of industrial/business smoke". Without sponsorship of any bussiness for profit: no medications, nor food, nor technology, nor services, nor others]
    -By the way, the Spanish Association of Students of Medicine (Farmacriticxs) join the initiative
    Juan Gérvas, GP, PhD
    Equipo CESCA, Madrid, Spain

    Comment by Juan Gérvas — November 9, 2010 #

  3. What does this mean for our weekly (sticky buns & sandwiches)coffee (&Tea bags and bag of sugar) morning???

    Comment by Marie — November 9, 2010 #

    1. @Marie,

      I don't think that will be affected by these changes from what I've read, the question is whether or not it would be considered appropriate based on the current Code of Practice. Clause 19.1 in the current code makes it clear that hospitality must be secondary to the meeting and not out of proportion to the occasion.

      The question posed then is whether you and the representatives you meet with agree that the weekly tea or coffee with a cake or sandwich is an aside to the main purpose of the meeting and if this level of refreshment it in proportion to the meeting.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 9, 2010 #

  4. Matthew,
    I expect it should read Jan 2011 & May 2011 for when it comes into force rather than 2010 ?

    Comment by Jon Kerr — November 9, 2010 #

    1. Jon,

      You are of course quite right, my typographical error has now been corrected.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 9, 2010 #

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