Title I - PROVISIONS OF THE CODE
CHAPTER II - Interaction with Healthcare Professionals and Organizations
16. SERVICES PROVIDED BY HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS OR HEALTHCRE ORGANISATIONS
16.1. Contracting Healthcare Professionals on an individual or group basis is permitted for providing advice or counseling services such as communications at meetings as a speaker or moderator, educational activities, expert meetings, etc., where such participation involves payment of remuneration and/ or expenses for travel and subsistence.
Agreements with individual Healthcare Professionals, and/or with entities in which these concur (institutions, foundations, scientific societies, organizations of professional associations, etc.), that cover the legitimate provision of these types of services must meet the following conditions:
a) they are contracted for the purpose of collaborating with healthcare, research, teaching/training or the organization of professional or scientific Events;
b) the existence prior to providing these services of a written contract that specifies, at the least, the nature of the services to be provided and, in compliance with letter (h) below, the criteria that form a basis for calculating the remuneration for their provision;
c) they clearly identify, prior to requesting these types of services and signing any type of agreement with the possible consultants, the legitimate need for these services;
d) the criteria used to select the consultants are directly related to the identified need and the person responsible for their selection has the necessary expertise to evaluate if the Healthcare Professionals meet these requirements;
e) the number of Healthcare Professionals contracted does not exceed the number that would be reasonably necessary to achieve the planned objective;
f) the contracting company must maintain documentary support of the services provided by the consultants and employ these services for the planned use;
g) contracting Healthcare Professionals to provide these types of services does not constitute an inducement to recommend, prescribe, purchase, supply, sell or administer a given medicine;
h) remuneration to participating professionals must follow market criteria and be in accordance with the time spent, the work performed and the responsibilities assumed. In addition, it must be appropriately formalized;
i) remuneration must be monetary. In exceptional cases and with the prior authorization of the Unit, remuneration may be provided in kind;
j) they are approved, prior to contracting, by the company's scientific department or by the Compliance Officer stipulated in article 12.11 of the Code.
16.2. When contracting these types of services for a project or activity involves remunerated participation of at least 20 Healthcare Professionals, they must be communicated by the pharmaceutical companies that organize or sponsor the majority of the project or activity prior to its commencement, in accordance with the stipulations of Title II Rules of Procedure for the Control Bodies.
Failure to report these services will constitute a breach of this Code.
16.3. In these contracts, it is recommended that the pharmaceutical companies include a clause in which the Healthcare Professional commits to declare that he/she provides services or consultation to the company every time he/she writes or makes public statements regarding any topic related to their agreement or to the company.
In addition, it is recommended that those pharmaceutical companies that employ Healthcare Professionals on a part-time basis – meaning they continue to practice their profession – ensure that these are under the obligation to publicly declare this contract or relationship with the company any time they write or make public statements regarding any topic related to said contract or to the company.
The stipulations of this section are applicable at all times and in spite of the fact that the Code expressly excludes corporate advertising from pharmaceutical companies from its scope.
16.4. When a Healthcare Professional participates in an Event in the role of advisor or consultant, the terms and conditions of article 11 apply.
It is important that companies evaluate the appearance and content of these types of agreements as a whole. A useful criterion for evaluating compliance with the Code is to ask if the company would like all of the details of the agreement to be widely known publicly.
Companies must be especially careful when they contract a significant number of Healthcare Professionals. In particular, they should not present as services projects that, due to their objectives and characteristics, should be qualified as studies and, therefore, meet the requirements established in article 14.
16.2. The purpose of communicating services is to facilitate the monitoring work of the Code of Practice Surveillance Unit. In no case should this be understood as involving authorization. The companies continue to be solely responsible for compliance with the Code in these services, regardless of whether or not they are communicated previously to the Code of Practice Unit.