The Union of Drug Manufacturers and Importers of Armenia has prepared a draft Code of Good Practice for Pharmaceutical Companies, which was submitted for review to the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition. This was announced by Samvel Zakaryan, the head of the Union.
He said that the Armenian code was drafted on the basis of the code of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). The existence of such code is one of prerequisites for the entry to IFPMA.
The Armenian Code includes detailed provisions on how the pharmacists can present their products, how they should describe them to doctors, what printed materials are considered as advertising and what is a specialized information.
Samvel Zakaryan added that the code prohibits the doctors from using their names and official positions to promote a particular drug. He recognized that this will be difficult to control, since when the patients are in the doctor’s office they take whatever the doctor recommends “as the ultimate truth.”
The Code also imposes restrictions on the number and value of promotional souvenirs presented to doctors (from 5,000 to 15,000). Moreover, the company must report on such souvenirs. There are also restrictions placed on the locations and methods of promotion events – they cannot include stay in the luxury hotels or payments for expensive foreign trips. When these expenses exceed certain limits, they may be considered as the bribery.