PMCPA bids to boost knowledge of code

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority is aiming to impĀ­rove what it admits is 'patchy' understanding of the pharma industry's code among health professionals.

The Whitehall-based body brought in a tougher code of conduct last year in a bid to increase the industry’s transparency.

The PMCPA, which administers the code on behalf of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Ind­ustry (ABPI), is now to run a major ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the code and its implications.

In its biggest-ever comms campaign, it will also do more to promote the PMCPA as an ‘arms-length but separate’ organisation from the ABPI.

As well as running Code Day for a second year – most likely in May – it plans to promote the fact that it offers training on the code to agencies and ‘key representative groups’ such as the CIPR and Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The PMCPA website will be relaunched and will feature ‘best practice’ and ‘latest thinking’ sections.

The PMCPA will also email pharma companies, agencies and journalists with summaries of ‘case rep­orts’ in its quarterly Code of Practice Review.  It plans to get feature-style articles in pharma firms’ newsletters.

It will also ‘promote to all agencies as part of their training that when they pitch to businesses they should include a piece explaining what the code is and their commitment to working within it’.

The PMCPA hired its first dedicated comms professional – Niamh MacMahon – last year.

It will release market research data later this week showing that awareness of the code has increased during the past 12 months among doctors, but that other NHS professionals, such as nurses, are less aware.

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