Media Release

Keeping Standards High for the Medicines Industry

By Dr Lee Mathias
13 Aug 2014

Medicines New Zealand's Code of Practice (the Code) has been reviewed and the 16th edition is out now.

The Code represents our commitment to rigorous ethics, safety and transparency in the field of medicine and it is important that we regularly review the standards we set to make sure they keep pace with an ever-changing industry environment. For example, the 16th edition now includes a section on the use of social media in promoting prescription medicines says Heather Roy, Chair of Medicines New Zealand.

"Our Code of Practice is the operational standard that sets our member companies apart from the crowd. Companies that choose to become a member of Medicines New Zealand agree to adhere to our Code and therefore consistently operate to the highest possible standards and procedures set for the pharmaceutical industry"

The Code review resulted in changes that include: 

  • Strengthening the information on electronic media promotion and social media.
  • Updating the advertising sections to align with changes to the Medicines Amendment Regulations 2011.
  • Providing information on online advertisements.
  • Strengthening and adding new sections on interactions and relationships with the general public, patients and patient organisations.
  • Further changes were made to the section on media releases, Product Familiarisation Programmes, company-commissioned articles, external meeting sponsorship, and items of medical utility.
  • There is now provision for a fee waiver for complaints from members of the public in certain circumstances.

"The Code is reviewed and updated every three years to ensure that the provisions of it and its administration remain appropriate and relevant to the interests of patients, government, healthcare professionals, and the industry. It is also updated to reflect a high level of ethics and integrity required of the pharmaceutical industry today" Mrs Roy said.

Further information on the new 16th edition of Medicines New Zealand’s Code of Practice can be viewed at here where you can download a pdf copy.


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