Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024

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Source-This post on Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024 is based on the article “Government issues marketing code for pharmaceutical firms” published in “The Hindu” on 13th March 2024.

Why in the News?

The government has recently issued the Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP), 2024. It aims to regulate unethical practices in the pharmaceutical industry.

What are the key provisions of UCPMP 2024?

Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) 2024
Source- The Print

1. Prohibits gifts– The code prohibits pharmaceutical companies, agents, distributors, wholesalers, or retailers from offering or providing gifts that benefit healthcare professionals or their family members personally.

2. Restriction on Travelling facilities– The UCPMP 2024 limits providing travel and vacation benefits to healthcare professionals or their families, unless the individual is a speaker at an event.

3. Financial limitations– The code restricts financial benefits or perks from being offered, supplied, or promised to individuals qualified to prescribe or supply drugs by pharmaceutical companies or their representatives.

4. Ban on CME workshops abroad-The code prohibit companies from conducting continued medical education (CME) workshops in foreign countries.

5. Drugs promotion directive:
a. The UCPMP rules require drug promotion to adhere to marketing approval terms. The drugs must not be promoted before approval.
b. Claims of effectiveness of the drug must be backed by current evidence. Terms like ‘safe‘ must not be used without qualification.
c. Additionally, drugs can’t be labeled as ‘new‘ if they’ve been available or promoted in India for over a year.

6. Rules violation & adherence directive:
a. Violations of the code will be handled by Ethics Committees for Pharma Marketing Practices (ECPMP) set up within each association to ensuring accountability.
b. The CEOs of pharmaceutical companies are responsible for following the code and ensuring compliance with UCPMP 2024 regulations.
c. Companies must submit annual self-declarations of adherence to the code, which will be posted on the association’s website or the UCPMP portal of the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

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