Global medicines industry updates Code of Practice

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has announced the revision and expansion of its Code of Practice which governs how companies interact with healthcare professionals and patient organisations.

The Code of Practice, which Medicines Australia helped draft, ensures that engagements with healthcare professionals are undertaken ethically. Under the Code, the provision of company-sponsored entertainment and personal gifts are banned.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the IFPMA Code set the principles for the ethical standards expected of the medicines industry globally, and that some countries such as Australia have a more detailed and specific set of standards of conduct in place.

“Medicines Australia endorses the new expanded IFPMA Code of Practice, but our own Code of Conduct goes some way further,” Dr Shaw said.

”The Medicines Australia Code describes in detail the standards expected of companies when interacting with health consumer organisations and individual consumers. It also reinforces specific Australian laws that prohibit advertising prescription medicines to consumers.

“The important interactions between pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare professionals mean that prescribers are kept up to date with the latest information about how medicines work.

“Governments, doctors and patients must have confidence that those interactions meet the highest ethical standard. Both the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct and the IFPMA Code of Practice exist to provide that confidence.”

Medicines Australia regularly reviews its own Code of Conduct to ensure it continues to reflect changing community expectations.

A current review of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct will be completed by June 2012. The updated Medicines Australia Code of Conduct is expected to be implemented in January 2013.

More information about the IFPMA Code of Practice can be found on their website


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