Updated Code Of Ethical Practices sets the bar higher
Ottawa, December 2, 2019 – Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) today announced changes to its Code of Ethical Practices to ensure that the important working relationship between our industry and its external stakeholders continues to reflect the highest ethical standards.
“Trust and transparency are key to building strong, productive and mutually beneficial relationships with our partners. We have updated our Code of Ethical Practices to ensure our member companies continue to have a solid foundation on which to build trust with all stakeholders in the Canadian life science ecosystem,” said Pamela Fralick, President of Innovative Medicines Canada.
All IMC members agree to comply with Code of Ethical Practices as a condition of membership in the association.
The changes outlined below clarify the language of certain sections of the Code and also remove the potential for real or perceived conflicts of interest and/or undue influence.
- Business meetings and events conducted by IMC members where external stakeholders are invited: The updated Code provides members with additional clarity and guidance to assess the appropriateness of locations and venues when conducting business meetings and events. Locations should be selected so as to ensure they are not the main attraction of the event and cannot reasonably be perceived as such. Venues must not be lavish, extravagant or perceived as luxurious and must not be known for their entertainment, sports, leisure or vacation facilities.
- Sponsored conferences and congresses: The updated Code provides members with additional clarity and guidance to better assess the appropriateness of sponsorships of third-party conferences and congresses. Members should be guided by the same criteria for these events that apply when they are organizing their own business meetings. When deciding whether to sponsor a third-party conference, members should consider the proposed location and venue as well as reviewing detailed agendas to evaluate the conference’s medical or scientific value.
- Provisions of funding: The updated Code refines the various categories of funding provided by members which include grants, donations, sponsorships, collaborations and partnerships. It more clearly defines each category of funding and the standards that apply in each case. It also clarifies that, in most cases, member funding cannot be provided to individual stakeholders.
- Patient Support Programs (PSPs) and Medical Practice Activities (MPAs): The updated Code generally prohibits members from providing direct and indirect payments or other benefits to prescribing health care professionals (HCPs) for services provided in the context of PSPs/MPAs to their own patients.
The updated IMC Code will come into effect on January 1, 2020. However, and to facilitate an orderly transition from the current rules, the changes related to Patient Support Programs and Medical Practices Activities will come into effect on July 1, 2020, while those related to sponsoring third-party conferences and congresses will come into effect on January 1, 2021.
About Innovative Medicines Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
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