IBJNews

New drugmaker code deprives docs of football, lunch for 2

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Doctors can still get free samples of medicines, but not football tickets or lunch for their spouses, under a revised code of conduct drafted by a global drug industry trade group.

The new rules clarify the differences between gifts, promotional aids and items such as anatomical models that can be used in medical practice, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations said Wednesday. The federation’s member companies will be required to adopt the new guidelines and provide related training to their 1.3 million employees, the group said.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. is a member of the federation.

The code may help curb legal expenses related to marketing, particularly in the United States, where GlaxoSmithKline Plc last year agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil investigations and other matters.

Lilly and Pfizer Inc.each paid more than $1 billion to settle marketing allegations in 2009. Novartis AG and AstraZeneca Plc are among drugmakers that in the past year have disclosed U.S. subpoenas seeking information on the selling of certain products.

“The new code provides a framework for the industry to act with integrity and build trust,” AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer David Brennan, the federation’s president, said in the statement. “This is not about doing the easy thing, but the right thing.”

Free samples of medicines may be given to doctors who are authorized to prescribe them to patients, the federation said in the code. Companies should avoid extravagant venues for meetings, be transparent in promotional materials, and shouldn’t offer items for the personal benefit of a doctor or nurse, such as gift certificates or concert tickets, according to the guidelines.

“As a general rule, the hospitality provided must not exceed what participants would normally be prepared to pay for themselves,” the federation said in the code. “Companies should not pay any costs associated with individuals accompanying invited health-care professionals.”

The rules don’t address direct-to-consumer advertising, pricing or other trade terms for supplying wholesalers and other commercial customers, or promotion of medical devices, the federation said. Drugmakers that fund patient advocacy groups shouldn’t insist on being the sole sponsor of such an organization, and should outline in writing the nature of the financial support, according to the code.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Old Story - New Twist
    If this latest revelation regarding pharmaceutical companies buying business via gifts, trips, sporting event tickets, and rebates comes as a surprise to the general public, brace yourself it gets worse. There are websites that keep track, via Freedom of Information, of funds that flow from pharmaceutical and medical devices companies into the pockets of physicians. Millions of dollars are passed through to doctors, all in exchange for the doctor either prescribing the company's products, or surgeons and cardiologists using the company's devices. The best example I have found is the fact that every major pharmaceutical product can be purchased in any foreign country for 25% to 40% less than what Americans pay for the same products here. Perhaps these latest announcements will start to impact the pricing of pharmaceuticals, but I really doubt it.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT