Transparency is the key to the creation of confidence in relations with the general public and patients. That is why the European pharmaceutical industry intends in future to disclose the pecuniary benefits provided between the pharmaceutical industry and stakeholders in the healthcare sector.
On 24 June 2013, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) adopted the new EFPIA Disclosure Code. On that basis, scienceindustries as the responsible member association of EFPIA in Switzerland drew up the Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC) which entered into force in January 2014. The partner associations Intergenerika, Interpharma and vips have also subscribed to the PCC.
What commitment have the PCC signatory companies made?
With effect from 2016, the signatory companies will disclose each year on their websites accessible to the public the pecuniary benefits which they granted in the previous year (beginning with 2015) to professionals (primarily physicians and pharmacists) as well as healthcare organizations (in particular hospitals and research institutes).
Which benefits are disclosed?
The term pecuniary benefits as defined by the PCC means remuneration granted either directly or indirectly in connection with pharmaceuticals for human medicine available on prescription only. The disclosure includes payments made e.g. for consultancy and the provision of services, financial support for research and development in the healthcare sector and cost contributions for the attendance of professionals at events.
There are few exceptions from the obligation to disclose pecuniary benefits, e.g.:
• normal commercial compensation for professionals when pharmaceuticals are ordered and delivered
• delivery of pharmaceutical samples without payment to professionals within the limits of the official
• information and training materials of modest value
• payment for meals (including beverages)
How is disclosure effected?
To achieve a high degree of transparency, disclosure should take place individually, i.e. naming the recipients in person.
This requires the consent of the persons or organizations concerned to such disclosure. For this purpose, the cooperation agreements between the companies and these professional persons and organizations must be supplemented by suitable consent clauses. The companies are currently in contact with these stakeholders for that reason.