Ethics

Trust and confidence are key to building strong, productive and mutually beneficial relationships.

We are stronger when we work with our partners. Our goals are aligned with the broader healthcare community. We want to ensure patients have the best possible health outcomes, while working towards the long term sustainability of our healthcare system.

Innovative Medicines Canada and its members have set a high standard for ethical, transparent and open practices that respect the relationships between our member company employees, the life sciences sector, healthcare professionals and the Canadian public.

All members of Innovative Medicines Canada are bound by the association’s Code of Ethical Practices, which maintains strict standards on what is acceptable in our work with healthcare practitioners and we publicly report any violations of the Code.

Innovative Medicines Canada is a member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufactures & Associations and adhere to the IFPMA Ethos.

Notice of Recent Changes to the IMC Code of Ethical Practices – Effective January 1, 2020

Amendments to the Code were recently approved by our Board of Directors. Those key amendments include the following:

Locations and Venues for Events Organized by or Sponsored by IMC Member Companies – Sections 6 and 10 of the Code

IMC member companies may organize business meetings and events with Health Care Professionals (HCPs) (Section 6). These business meetings and events should take place in venues that are not considered to be lavish or extravagant. The amendments to Section 6 of the Code include guidance on the location of the business meetings and events (the location should not be the main attraction of an event or be perceived as such) and provide further clarity on the selection of venues for such meetings and events (the venues should have adequate facilities, be conducive to the scientific, education and business purpose of the meeting, and not be primarily known for entertainment, sports, leisure or vacation facilities).

Our member companies also sponsor conferences and congresses initiated by third party organizers (Section 10). The amendments to Section 10 are meant to provide further clarity and guidance for the purpose of assessing the appropriateness of locations and venues when deciding whether or not to sponsor third party conferences and congresses.  Member companies should be guided by the same criteria and guidance outlined for business meetings and events that are organized by the companies themselves for the selection of locations and venues (Section 6). Furthermore, member companies must request all details related to the funding such as a budget and a detailed agenda demonstrating the scientific nature and content of the sponsored program.

Funding Provisions (Section 12)

Various types of requests for funding are received by our industry. The amendments to Section 12 of the Code and the addition of a new section on “Collaborations and Partnerships” are intended to ensure the various types of funding initiatives are well defined and have clear standards.

Patient Support Programs (PSPs) and Medical Practices Activities (MPAs) – Section 14:

Section 14 now includes greater clarity on the provision of payments or other benefits to prescribing Health Care Professionals (HCPs) in the context of the delivery of a PSP/MPA. The amendments limit the ability of member companies to provide direct or indirect payments or other benefits to prescribing HCPs. Third parties or internal qualified member employees can be hired to provide the services offered by the PSP; however, third parties cannot pay or provide a financial benefit to the prescribing HCP in the context of a PSP. The only exception is when a patient resides in a remote community and would not otherwise be able to reasonably obtain the PSP service but for the engagement and payment or provision of a financial benefit to the prescribing HCP.  An HCP that is not the prescribing HCP of a patient enrolled in the PSP/MPA, can be hired and compensated accordingly if his/her services are needed for the delivery of the PSP/MPA.

The amendments to the Code will come into effect on January 1, 2020. However, the section related to PSPs/MPAs (Section 14) will become effective on July 1, 2020 to ensure smooth transition of existing PSPs/MPAs. Finally, to ensure that preexisting sponsorship commitments by our member companies can be respected and in order to provide a reasonable transition period, the section related to sponsoring conferences and congresses (Section 10) will come into effect on January 1, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the amendments to the Code, please contact Lama Abi Khaled at labikhaled@imc-mnc.ca  or by phone at 613-236-0455 ext. 236.

A copy of the new Code of Ethical Practices will be available early December 2019.