The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”) recently issued an updated Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals (the “Updated Code”). The Updated Code’s preamble states that it reinforces PhRMA’s intentions that interactions with health care professionals are professional exchanges designed to benefit patients and to enhance the practice of medicine. Additionally, the preamble notes that the Updated Code reflects and builds upon standards and principles set forth in prior versions. This Updated Code from PhRMA follows an updated code earlier this year by AdvaMed that goes into effect on January 1, 2020, as further discussed here.

The Updated Code is consistent with its predecessor versions and addresses the same topics as the most recent prior version that became effective in 2009, including: (1) informational presentations by pharmaceutical company representatives and accompanying meals, (2) prohibition on entertainment and recreation, (3) pharmaceutical company support for continuing medical education, (4) pharmaceutical company support for third-party educational or professional meetings, (5) consultants, (6) speaker programs and speaker training meetings, (7) health care professionals who are members of committees that set formularies or develop clinical practice guidelines, (8) scholarships and educational funds, (9) prohibition on non-educational and practice-related items, (10) educational items, (11) prescriber data, (12) independence and decision making, and (13) training and conduct of company representatives.

The Updated Code reinforces PhRMA’s commitment to ensuring ethical interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and medical community. The Updated Code is also consistent with the principles set forth in the International Federal of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (“IFPMA”) Code of Practice.