The Department’s legislative programme does not currently include the preparation of legislation establishing a mandatory register for disclosure of payments or transfers of value to healthcare professionals or healthcare organisations from the pharmaceutical companies.
However, a number of measures currently exist which govern the receipt of gifts by health and social care professionals. Codes of conduct established by the Health Regulatory Bodies, for example the Medical Council and CORU, set the standards for the conduct of health professionals regarding gifts or payment by pharmaceutical companies.
Under pharmaceutical legislation (S.I 541 of 2007) it is prohibited to supply, offer or promise gifts, pecuniary advantages or benefits in kind to pharmacists, in the course of promoting medicinal products.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) self-regulatory Code was introduced across Europe in 2015. This Code obliges members to make publicly available information in relation to donations, grants and sponsorships to healthcare organisations and healthcare professionals. Disclosable activities include payments made to health professionals such as sponsorship to attend meetings, speaker fees, consultancy and advisory boards as well as payments made for research and development activities.
IPHA, as a member of EFPIA, changed its Code of Practice to reflect this additional transparency. Under this revised IPHA code, summary details of how IPHA member companies engage with and support HCPs and HCOs through direct or indirect financial support, or ‘Transfers of Value’, have been made public on www.transferofvalue.ie since 1st July 2016.