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Medical and pharma code of ethics signed
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The Ministry of Health (MoH) has endorsed a code of ethics that regulates the promotion of pharmaceutical products. The code was signed by unions and orders in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The code stipulates that promoted information should not be incorrect, incomplete, or deceptive. The concerned parties should do their best to avoid ambiguity. The information should be clear, accurate, transparent, balanced, and supported by scientific and clinical evidence.

The objectives of the promotional pharmaceutical products should not be confined to commercial purposes, but they should also aim to satisfy the interests of patients. Such words as ‘safe’ or ‘efficient’ should not be used without proof, according to the code.

Booklets and other educational materials targeted at patients and consumers should not be used in the promotion of pharmaceutical products.

Healthcare professionals are not allowed to accept in-kind gifts worth more than 10 percent of the monthly minimal wage. These professionals are not permitted to receive direct or indirect cash payments that aim to boost the consumption of medicinal products. These payments will be considered as bribes and the professionals in question will be subject to the penal code.

Doctors and dentists are allowed to receive specimens not intended for sale in small quantities. The sentence ‘Free Medical Sample, Not for Sale’ should be permanently printed on the outer package and on the inner container where possible.

At least 75 percent of the time during medical congresses and symposia should be dedicated to the delivery of medical, scientific, and educational information. Activities that are beyond the educational agenda should be limited to coffee breaks and meals, and should not exceed 25 percent of the total time devoted to the congress and symposium.

It is forbidden to use scientific research, at any of its stages, for the promotion of medicinal products. Post-marketing studies should not be promotion in disguise, but should have a strictly scientific purpose.

According to the code of ethics, the comparison of competitors’ products should be accurate and scientific. The major part of a medical representative’s salary should not be directly related to sales volumes.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jun 06, 2016