Pharmaceutical companies will disclose transfers of value to healthcare professionals, as part of a Europe-level initiative to apply a stricter self-regulatory framework in the sector and increase transparency.

Details on the provisions of the revised “Code of Conduct on the Promotion of Prescription Only Medicinal Products” were announced during a working breakfast with journalists, which was organised by the Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies (KEFEA), member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

According to the Code’s latest update (May 2014), the companies-members of EFPIA and members of its unions-members will proceed in 2016, for the first time ever, with disclosing details of specific expenses that were incurred on behalf of healthcare professionals in the year 2015. On behalf of KEFEA, Kyriakos Mikellis explained that the information made public will concern, among others, the sponsoring of scientific organisations, fees for consultancy speeches and coverage of expenses to attend medical conferences in Cyprus and abroad. The information in question will be published on a public platform, on each company’s website, and available to the public.

“This is a Europe-level initiative, aimed at increasing the transparency of practices applied in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Mr Mikellis, adding that he was confident  the Code’s adoption would bring significant benefits to patients, healthcare professionals and the broader pharmaceutical sector, while at the same time reaffirming the pharmaceutical companies’ commitment to ethical behaviour.

The new Code also adopts stricter provisions on the interaction between medical representatives and healthcare professionals, the promotion of prescription medicinal products, the availability of samples as well as promotional material, and the hosting of healthcare professionals during scientific events.

Mr Mikellis said the new Code ensures that the promotion of medicines to healthcare professionals is carried out in a transparent and honest way, without deception and in accordance with the Law’s provisions, while he said this initiative was supported by the Cyprus Medical Association.

Adherence to the new Code, which has been uploaded to the Association’s recently updated website (www.kefea.org.cy), is obligatory for all members of KEFEA, as well as all members of EFPIA who are active in Cyprus.

KEFEA was established in 2006 and represents the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Cyprus. KEFEA’s members are the companies GSK, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Amgen Hellas and Genesis Pharma. Its mission is to provide Cypriots with innovative medicines.