As reported by The Pharma Times, neglect of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) code is growing more and more common.
There have been a number of high profile campaigns which have been found to be in violation of the ABPI Code. Such campaigns have been found by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) to either:
- Encourage patients to request that their healthcare professional prescribe them a certain prescription-only medicine (POM)
- Advertise POM’s to the public
- Promote an unlicensed indication
The ABPI Code states that communications with patients must be:
- Non promotional
- POM should NOT be advertised to the public
- Factual and balanced
- Should not mislead in terms of safety
- Communicated in such a way that members of the public are NOT encouraged to ask their health care professionals to prescribe them a certain medicine.
However, many in the industry disagree with these findings and highlight the need for pharmaceutical companies to be creative in their communications to patients. Some believe this is growing in importance due to the rise in popularity of mediums such as Facebook, blogging and apps among patients.