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ABPI

New pharma code of practice could include warnings of medicines change for patients

Patients may soon be warned that their medicine, or the way it is delivered, could change as a result of the financial impact of the introduction of a new drug on NHS budgets.

The change is one of several being being proposed by the UK drug industry in a recommended revision of the code of practice drawn up by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), which governs the relationship between industry, patients and patient organisations. The proposed changes are out for consultation until 10 October 2018.

According to the proposed new code of practice, drug companies would maintain the freedom to provide drugs to patients “on compassionate grounds”, but they would have to have a conditional licence or a marketing authorisation. However, manufacturers would be banned from promoting any such products.

The ABPI said the 45 recommended amendments reflect feedback from its members, patient groups and others on issues, such as the increasing use of digital technology and the introduction of conditional licenses.

The current code, introduced in 2016, makes no mention of drugs made available by manufacturers for compassionate reasons.

A spokesperson for the ABPI said: “When we consult on the code, the aim is always to keep it current and up to date with changes elsewhere in the environment in which we operate.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205380

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