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Table 1 Control systems for prescription medicine advertising

From: Ethical pharmaceutical promotion and communications worldwide: codes and regulations

  IFPMA affiliated industry codes of practice Independent local industry codes of practice Professional bodies’ codes of practice Regulatory authority activities Legal actions Company standards
Description National codes incorporate and expand on the IFPMA Code National codes, developed independently International or national medical, pharmacy, and nursing bodies have professional behavior codes. Employers may also have codes of conduct Regulatory authority interprets and applies law and regulations. Can include pre-approval and post-hoc enforcement Possible breaches of laws and regulation pursued through court action Companies have codes of conduct and internal compliance and audit organizations to enforce them
Applicability International pharmaceutical member companies wherever they operate. Includes local companies in a few countries Local companies that belong to the sponsoring trade association or have agreed to comply with the Code Applied nationally by the professional body All sectors within the scope of the legislation. Applied nationally All sectors within the scope of the legislation. Applied nationally All countries where the company does business
Comment National codes are often detailed and are subject to national laws and regulations. Some countries embrace code based actions more readily than others Variable in scope and application Professional codes may include requirements concerning interactions with commercial organizations Some regulatory authorities are more active than others Actions may be brought by government bodies or competitor companies. Some countries resort to legal action more readily than others Internal standards are usually broader in scope than external codes and legislation