Here in Salveo, we have been continuously working on encouraging responsibility and ethics of all workers in the health system, but also of ourselves. In favour of that, Mr. Kristijan Jakovina, CEE Sales Director, held the oral presentation “ETHICS IN PHARMA MARKETING” in the Croatian Pharmaceutical Society, in Zagreb, on March 14, 2017.
Health is the most important resource we have, so we try to keep it for our own interest. Pharmaceutical industry has undoubtedly played an important role in making innovative and efficient medicinal products and medical devices accessible for prevention, alleviation and treatment of diseases, for the long term purposes of improving the quality of human health and increasing the life expectancy.
Fundamentally, marketing is the activity of seeking an opportunity in the market and in pharmaceutical marketing the opportunities are defined as various diseases (whether they are a minor health problems or a serious illness). Of course, there are numerous ethical issues and dilemmas arising from the nature of those activities. That is why the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated by strong law frames nationally defined, as well as by the codes of ethics set by professional and interest associations of the pharmaceutical industry.
Regardless of whether they are Rx prescribed medicinal products reimbursed by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF), or OTC medicines, medical devices or food supplements available prescription–free in pharmacies, the mission of pharmaceutical industry is to make them available in order to improve health of the population.
Ethical conduct in promotion of medicinal products, providing objective, accurate and scientifically supported information on medicinal products and medical devices is crucial for accomplishment of such mission. The independence of health care professionals in passing rational decisions on health procedures, including decisions about pharmacotherapy, is one of the basic requirements of any health care system.
Considering the Rx medicinal products, every Marketing Authorisation Holder was asked to sign an Agreement on Ethical Advertising of Reimbursed Drugs with the CHIF. This is to ensure transparency in cooperation between pharmaceutical industry and health care professionals, aiming to strengthen the integrity of all stakeholders in this relationship and to ensure objective judgments of possibly inappropriate influence or potential conflict of interest. Another important segment is the advertising and marketing of non-prescription drugs (OTC medicines), medical devices and food supplements.
In carrying out the activities of advertising non-prescription medicinal products and medical devices, the advertisers must behave honestly and responsibly, avoiding deceptive practices and potential conflicts of interest with healthcare professionals. Advertisers (manufacturers), and indirectly, health care professionals, must aim to provide an environment where the general public can be confident that education, recommendations or choices regarding their medicines are made on the basis of the characteristics of each product and the healthcare needs of patients.