Consultation on the proposed 2021 ABPI Code of Practice

Closes 8 Sep 2020

Opened 19 Jun 2020


Welcome to the consultation on proposed changes to the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry.  Thank you for taking the time to review the proposed 2021 ABPI Code and for providing your feedback and thoughts.

Pharmaceutical companies are requested to provide one consolidated response including the name of the company, which will be kept confidential. Responses from individuals working for a pharmaceutical company are also welcome.

ABPI President, Haseeb Ahmad, explains the importance of the consultation in this video:



This consultation is in collaboration with the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), who have carried out the revision of the Code at the request of the ABPI and with its support. Final proposals have been agreed by the ABPI and the ABPI Board.

Heather Simmonds, Director, Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, provides an overview in this video of the proposed changes to the ABPI Code, how to navigate the proposed Code and some areas to note.



The overall aim of updating the ABPI Code is to support high quality compliance decisions and to ensure the Code remains relevant, effective and fit for the future, whilst continuing to support high quality patient care and a positive reputation for industry.

As a member of EFPIA, the ABPI must ensure that the changes introduced during the recent consolidation of the EFPIA Codes are reflected in the ABPI Code, and this requires some adjustments. The new EFPIA Code format has been helpful when considering the proposed ABPI Code format.

Opinion research on the ABPI Code was carried out in early 2019 which identified three themes, these being principles, accessibility and future proofing the Code. Later in 2019 working groups of representatives, from a wide range of member and non-member pharmaceutical companies, subsequently provided further input and thinking on these and other areas of the Code.  The proposed 2021 ABPI Code reflects, to the extent possible, this feedback.

The proposals for the Code would result in the most significant structural change in nearly 30 years and would make a major impact on the way that people interact with the requirements. That is why we are keen for users of the Code to scrutinise the proposals in detail and consider how it will affect the way they work.

The consultation on the proposed 2021 Code is public and open to all.  We welcome and value feedback from across the healthcare and other interested sectors and believe this will help to ensure the ABPI Code and self-regulation remain strong and effective. Every effort has been made to ensure that the proposals are of a high standard, however we welcome the identification of any error or inconsistency, however trivial it might seem.

All submissions and suggestions will be reviewed and considered in the development of the final version of the 2021 ABPI Code. This will then be provided to the ABPI Board together with an anonymised summary of the comments.  The ABPI Board will agree the final proposals which will then be considered at a general meeting of ABPI Members for approval.  The summary of comments will also be published. 

Once approved the new ABPI Code will be published by 1 January 2021.   The 2019 Code of Practice will remain in force until 30 June 2021 and the 2021 Code will come into force on 1 July 2021.

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