The ABPI Code of Practice sets standards for the promotion of medicines to health professionals and other relevant decision makers in the UK. It also covers interactions between the industry and health professionals. The ABPI Code sets standards relating to the provision of information about prescription-only medicines to the public and patients, and pharmaceutical companies’ relationships with patient organisations. The ABPI Code does not cover the promotion of over-the-counter medicines to the public.
The ABPI Code is a self-regulatory code, first established by the ABPI in 1958. It is regularly updated and reviewed in consultation with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
ABPI member companies agree to comply with the Code, as a condition of membership, and in addition about 60 non-member companies are signed up. The ABPI Code is administered by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), which operates independently of the ABPI itself.
The ABPI Code demonstrates the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry to benefiting patients by operating in a professional, ethical and transparent manner, to ensure the appropriate marketing of medicines and to support health professionals in the provision of high-quality healthcare.
The Introduction to the ABPI Code sets out the sanctions that may be applied if a company is found to have breached the ABPI Code.