Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC)
Disclosure obligation since 2016
Transparency is the key to the creation of confidence in relations with the general public and patients. That is why the European pharmaceutical industry intends in future to disclose the pecuniary benefits provided between the pharmaceutical industry and stakeholders in the healthcare sector.
What is it about?
On 24 June 2013, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) adopted the new EFPIA Disclosure Code. On that basis, scienceindustries as the responsible member association of EFPIA in Switzerland drew up the Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC) which entered into force in January 2014. The partner associations Intergenerika, Interpharma and vips have also subscribed to the PCC.
What commitment have the PCC signatory companies made?
Since 2016, the signatory companies disclose each year on their websites accessible to the public the pecuniary benefits which they granted in the previous year to professionals (primarily physicians and pharmacists) as well as healthcare organizations (in particular hospitals and research institutes).
Which benefits are disclosed?
The term pecuniary benefits as defined by the PCC means remuneration granted either directly or indirectly in connection with pharmaceuticals for human medicine available on prescription only. The disclosure includes payments made e.g. for consultancy and the provision of services, financial support for research and development in the healthcare sector and cost contributions for the attendance of professionals at events.
There are few exceptions from the obligation to disclose pecuniary benefits, e.g.:
• normal commercial compensation for professionals when pharmaceuticals are ordered and delivered
• delivery of pharmaceutical samples without payment to professionals within the limits of the official recommendations
• information and training materials of modest value
• payment for meals (including beverages)
How is disclosure effected?
To achieve a high degree of transparency, disclosure should take place individually, i.e. naming the recipients in person.
This requires the consent of the persons or organizations concerned to such disclosure. For this purpose, the cooperation agreements between the companies and these professional persons and organizations must be supplemented by suitable consent clauses. The companies are currently in contact with these stakeholders for that reason.
Disclosure in 2018
The signatory companies of the PCC have disclosed the following amounts regarding the pecuniary benefits granted in 2017:
• Approximately CHF 12.5 million to professionals
• Just over CHF 91 million to healthcare organizations
• Approximately CHF 59 million for R&D purposes
• Total amount of just over CHF 162.5 million
Again, there has been a slightly positive development regarding the part of the benefits disclosed naming the recipients individually. The industry aims at further increasing these values in order to continuously enhancing the degree of transparency of these cooperation payments.
Further information on the subject:
- Pharma Disclosure
- EFPIA: Responsible Transparency - Relationships & codes
- Verband Forschender Arzneimittelhersteller in Deutschland: Transparenz schafft Vertrauen
- Pharmig: Verband der pharmazeutischen Industrie Österreichs
- Schweizerische Ärztezeitung: Neue Verhaltensregeln für die Pharmaunternehmen (Author: Dieter Grauer, 2014) / Offenlegung geldwerter Leistungen durch die Pharmaindustrie (Author: Jürg Granwehr, 2016)
Documents to download (PDF):