New U.K. code bans freebies, mandates disclosure

The doc-payment disclosure trend has hit the U.K. Drugmakers have voted to disclose payments to British doctors and report their spending on conference trips for healthcare professionals. And they've decided to cut back on promotional giveaways to physicians as well.

So, pharma companies now accustomed to various U.S. bans on logo pens and scratch pads and other tchotchkes will now stop handing out the freebies across the pond, too. And now that they've begun posting databases of their financial relationships with U.S. physicians, they're agreeing to disclose all sorts of payments to U.K. docs and other healthcare professionals.

Specifically, the new ABPI code of practice will require drugmakers to report payments for speaking, consulting, and advisory-board service, plus any sponsorships for attendance at meetings and conferences. But companies will have some time to get used to the change: Promo giveaways won't cease until May 2011, while doc-payment disclosure won't begin till 2013, for payments made in 2012.

- read the InPharm story