The ABPI Code 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.
The ABPI Code is administered by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), which operates independently of the Association itself.
The Code 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.
It is a condition of membership of the ABPI to abide by the Code in both the spirit and the letter.
The ABPI Code does not cover the promotion of over-the-counter medicines to the public.
Key stats and facts
The sanctions include publishing adverts in the medical, pharmaceutical and nursing press brief details of cases in which companies were ruled in breach of Clause 2 (bringing discredit to, and reducing confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry), were required to issue a corrective statement or were the subject of a public reprimand.