The “promotion and support of ethical practices” was one of the principles on which the IFPMA was founded in 1968. The IFPMA Code was created in 1981 and has been updated frequently since. The current revision of the IFPMA Code of Practice was launched on 1 March 2012 and comes into effect on 1 September 2012. The 2012 revision of the IFPMA Code has expanded beyond marketing practices to cover interactions with healthcare professionals, medical institutions and patient organizations. Key elements include new provisions on Clinical Research and Transparency, Fees for Services, Support for Continuing Medical Education, Interactions with Patient Organizations and Training. The Code also includes more information on how complaints should be handled under the IFPMA Code of Practice Operating Procedure.
Article 3 of the IFPMA Statutes requires all IFPMA member associations and companies to adhere to the provisions of the IFPMA Code. This means that the promotion of any medicinal product, anywhere in the world, by any company that is a member of the IFPMA or a member of an IFPMA member association, must be in accordance with the provisions of the IFPMA Code. IFPMA member associations have developed their own marketing codes, which apply to their respective national territories. These must reflect at least the standards of the IFPMA Code but may contain more stringent provisions. To ensure transparency, information regarding the IFPMA member association and member company codes is accessible via this site.
IFPMA member associations, under their own codes, handle alleged breaches occurring in their respective national territories. Complaints occurring in countries where there is no national code, appropriate laws and regulations, or where a member company is not a member of local/regional association, fall within the scope of the IFPMA Code. In these cases, the IFPMA investigates and processes the complaints. If the IFPMA Code is found to have been breached, IFPMA will publish the name of the company concerned and its offense(s). Where no breach is ruled a summary of the case will be published on the IFPMA website.
The information disclosed will include the relevant country and a brief summary of the key facts. The respondent company, the complainant, and product(s) are not named. Information may also be made public in cases where a company fails to respond within the specified time limit.
Complaints can be reported to the IFPMA Secretariat at code(at)ifpma.org or under the File a Complaint page. This will ensure that all received complaints are dealt with by the appropriate body in a timely manner.