a pioneering sector with good practices and transparency | The USA Print

a pioneering sector with good practices and transparency

The coronavirus pandemic has made the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry to society more evident than ever, reflected in its global leadership in the field of research and development of medicines and vaccines, which, as has been verified, has been critical not only since the health point of view, but also economic and social.

This commitment to society is also materialized in the firm commitment that this sector began in Spain two decades ago in the field of good practices and transparency. Aware that their task is carried out in an area as delicate and socially sensitive as medicine, the actions related to good practices within the pharmaceutical industry have always gone one step beyond what is recommended by the legal system in our country. .

This dynamic of good practices has resulted in a sector that is increasingly focused on collaborating with patients, to find out their needs and try to respond to them, and with the continuous training of health professionals, and at the same time in continuous dialogue with the Administration in search of solutions to improve health care and reconcile patient access to innovation and the financial sustainability of the health system. And all this within a clear deontological framework and supported by transparency.

The key step in this commitment was the creation in 2001 by Farmaindustria of the Self-regulation System for the Pharmaceutical Industry. This self-regulation is based on six fundamental principles: trust, integrity, respect, legality, transparency and prevention.

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A public and continuously updated code

The sector’s commitment to good practices has materialized in various concrete actions. The most notable was the implementation and continuous updating of the Code of Good Practices for the Pharmaceutical Industry, which is the basis of the Self-regulation System. Is about a set of rules that have the purpose of guaranteeing that the information that is made available to health professionals in the promotion of medicines is complete, immediate and truthful, as well as to ensure that the relationships that companies and health professionals establish are developed respecting the highest ethical standards.

This code lives in constant evolution. Farmaindustria adopted in 1991 as the Spanish Code the European Code of Good Practices for the Promotion of Medicines, approved by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Associations and Industry (Efpia), until in 2001 it defined its own. Since then it has been constantly revised (the latest version is from September 2021) to adapt and anticipate the new demands of a constantly evolving society.

Transparency is crucial: the Code is public for the whole of society, as are the sanctions and mediations that arise from its application. The commitment to transparency has been recognized and endorsed by public institutionssuch as the Council for Transparency and Good Governance and the National Commission for Markets and Competition, and private, such as Transparency International Spain and the Spanish Bar Council.

Who controls the good practices?

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The control of compliance with the rules established in the Code corresponds to the Deontological Supervision Unit, the Deontological Commission and the Jury of the Association for the Self-regulation of Commercial Communication (Autocontrol). The independent Ethics Surveillance Unit of the pharmaceutical industry (USD) has among its functions to ensure the application of the code, advise and train. Thus, the USD analyzes every year in a preventive manner all face-to-face and telematic scientific and professional meetings promoted or supported by pharmaceutical companies. According to its latest annual report, close to 97% of these meetings are analyzed without any incidence being corrected, which shows the commitment of pharmaceutical companies to good practices and the success of the preventive objective of the Self-Regulation System. This unit has had a website since 2006 where all these scientific and professional meetings organized by third parties and the results of their analysis appear, which significantly contributes to supporting the continuing medical training of health professionals.

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Recognition of transparency institutions

This way, the Code of Good Practicesconsolidated over two decades through successive updates and recognized for the requirement and transparency in the application and monitoring of its articles, has become a pioneer example of the value of self-regulation as an instrument for deontological evolution of a sector as complex and regulated as the pharmaceutical industry.

The fundamental objective of the Self-regulation System is to generate work awareness in all companies through a culture of good practices.

  • In 2021 the self-regulation system analyzed and verified: 1,419 scientific meetings and congresses.
  • 97% of these events complied with the Code of Good Practices.

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