Companies to advertise adverse drug reactions

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has revised its Code of Practice...

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has revised its Code of Practice for the UK pharmaceutical industry, to, among other things, promote patient safety. The new code, which is effective 1 January 2006, requires companies to include prominent information about reporting adverse drug reactions on all printed and promotional material. It also defines what information can be supplied to the public to give more guidance and to clarify how companies may respond to patients' needs for reference information on medicines. There is also an important new clause concerning relationships with patient advocacy groups. While companies are allowed to work with such groups, their involvement must be made clear. Companies must also make public a list of all patient organizations to which they provide financial support.

"The ABPI Code of Practice has been the gold standard for pharmaceutical industry regulation throughout the world for many years, and our aim was to ensure that it continued to be strong and effective as well as fully meeting all the changes and requirements that have occurred since the last review," said Andrew Hotchkiss, ABPI Board member and Managing Director of Lilly UK, who was in charge of the project.