On June 30, 2020, PhRMA released a Statement on Application of PhRMA Code Section 2 During Emergency Periods, which recognizes the difficulty in complying with the Code’s requirement that informative presentations given to health care providers (“HCPs”), which may include a meal, are delivered in person by field sales representatives or their immediate managers. The Statement will enable such presentations to occur remotely (over video or audio conferencing) with by-delivery of a modest meal, as is discussed in greater detail below.
By way of background, Section 2 of the PhRMA Code (the “Code”) states:
In order to provide important scientific information and to respect health care professionals’ abilities to manage their schedules and provide patient care, company representatives may present scientific and clinical information about medicines during health care professionals’ working day, including at mealtimes. In connection with such presentations or discussions, it is appropriate for occasional meals to be offered as a business courtesy to the health care professionals as well as members of their staff attending presentations, so long as the presentations provide scientific or educational value and the meals are: (a) modest as judged by local standards; (b) not part of an entertainment or recreational event; and (c) provided in a manner conducive to informational communication.
The Code also states that any such meals offered in connection with informational presentations made by field sales representatives or their immediate managers should be limited to in-office or in-hospital settings, and that offering “take-out” meals or meals to be eaten without a company representative present (e.g., “dine & dash”) is not appropriate.
Acknowledging that during the COVID-19 emergency period and potentially during future emergency periods, healthcare facilities and offices may have differing standards with respect to physical access for patients, families, visitors, and company representatives, PhRMA offered the following guidance regarding Section 2 of the Code:
PhRMA’s statement is applicable during any national public health emergency period or any state or local declaration of an emergency that impacts access to an HCP’s office. Importantly, PhRMA’s statement is not intended to replace or supersede applicable federal or state laws, which may also apply.
For more information, please contact your Foley relationship partner or the Foley colleagues listed below. For additional web-based resources available to assist you in monitoring the spread of the coronavirus on a global basis, you may wish to visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.
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