On June 10, 2008, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”) announced the release of a newly revised version of the “Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals,” which is a voluntary code focusing on the industry’s interactions with healthcare professionals as they relate to the marketing of products. The revised Code will take effect in January 2009. According to PhRMA, the revised Code “reaffirms that interactions between company representatives and healthcare professionals should be focused on informing the healthcare professionals about products, providing scientific and educational information, and supporting medical research and education.”
The revised Code, which is substantially more restrictive than the July 2002 version, includes several changes, including a prohibition on the distribution of non-educational items (e.g., pens adorned with a company or product logo), a complete prohibition on entertainment and recreational activities, and a prohibition on company sales representatives from providing restaurant meals to healthcare professionals. Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. has prepared a memorandum summarizing the most significant changes to the revised Code.