Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024: Against the rising malpractices of pharmaceutical companies, the Department of Pharmaceuticals notified the bill named Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024 which aims to curb unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies for monetary intention where it prohibits the offering personal benefits to healthcare professionals or their family members, such as gifts, travel facilities, hospitality, cash, or monetary grants.

Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024 in details

On 12 March 2024, the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and the Central Government notified all pharma companies they need to follow some guidelines for their marketing needs where they need to ethically sell their product to the medical authorities including clinics, hospital and other local pharma for better healthcare facilities and affordable medical facilities.

KEY COMPONENT OF THE ACT BELOW:-

  • Prohibited Benefits:
  • No gifts, travel facilities, paid vacations, or any pecuniary advantages to healthcare professionals or their family members by pharmaceutical companies or their agents.
  • Restrictions on Hospitality:
  • Hospitality facilities like hotel stays, expensive cuisine, or resort accommodations are prohibited for healthcare professionals or their family members, except for speakers at conferences, seminars, or workshops.
  • Free Samples:
  • Free drug samples should not be supplied to unqualified individuals.
  • Companies must maintain records of distributed free samples, including product details, doctor’s name, quantity, and date of supply.
  • Monetary Limit on Samples:
  • The value of samples distributed annually by a company should not exceed 2% of its domestic sales.
  • Consistent Promotion:
  • Drug promotion must align with marketing approval terms and cannot be done before receiving approval from the competent authority.
  • Balanced Information:
  • Drug information should be accurate, balanced, up-to-date, verifiable, and non-misleading, reflecting current knowledge or responsible opinion.
  • Ethical Conduct of Medical Representatives:
  • Medical representatives must uphold ethical standards, avoiding inducements or subterfuge to gain access to healthcare professionals.
  • Enforcement and Penal Provisions:
  • Ethics Committee for Pharma Marketing Practices (ECPMP):
    • Each pharmaceutical association must form an ECPMP to handle code violation complaints, consisting of 3-5 members headed by the CEO.
  • Self-Declaration by CEO:
    • CEOs must submit self-declarations on adherence to the code annually within two months after the financial year’s end.
  • Breach of Code:
    • ECPMP can propose suspension, expulsion, or reprimand for entities breaching the code, with details published.
  • Corrective Measures:
    • Entities must issue corrective statements in the same media used for promotional material, with details shared with the committee for approval.
  • Recovery of Money or Items:
    • Entities must report actions taken to recover items provided in violation of the code to the committee in writing.
  • Recommendations to Government Agencies:
    • ECPMP may send recommendations to government agencies through the Department of Pharmaceuticals for disciplinary or remedial actions.

What is the full form of UCPMP?

The full form of UCPMP is the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices

Is UCPMP a legally obligatory code of ethics?

Yes, The Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP), according to the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives’ Associations of India, is made a legally obligatory code of ethics.

Ashutosh Raj

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