The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has ended a two-day business ethics and integrity seminar in Accra with a call on state institutions to help check the influx of fake medicines onto the Ghanaian market.
Members argued that fake products undermined patient’s trust in the healthcare system, healthcare professionals and manufacturers of genuine medicines.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that as much as 30 per cent of drugs on the Ghanaian market are fake.
A communique issued by the group at the end of the seminar said an efficient healthcare system depended on mutual trust among manufacturers of medicines and vaccines, governments and health authorities, healthcare professionals and patients and that the challenge was frequently to apply business ethics and integrity into the day-to-day reality of the healthcare community.
As part of measures to help build trust within the healthcare system, the new IFPMA Code of Practice would be launched in January 2019, the communique said.
The code, according to the statement, was to help build trust within the healthcare community and the public, guiding all the companies and associations which were members of IFPMA to operate, act and communicate in an ethical manner.
Since it was first drawn up in 1981, the code has been constantly revised in order to keep up with society’s expectation for the research-based pharmaceutical industry.
This latest, the sixth edition, comes into force on January 1, 2019 and includes a global ban on gifts and promotional aids for prescription-only medicines.
The Director-General of the IFPMA, Mr Thomas Cueni, said: “Society’s expectations of the research and development-based biopharmaceutical industry constantly raised the bar quite rightly.
We need to meet these expectations and live up to our commitments wherever we operate in the world, to win and retain the trust patients place in our products.”
The seminar, which was on the theme: “Business Integrity Days”, brought together participants from healthcare industry, including representatives from national pharmaceutical trade associations, ethics and compliance professionals, general managers, healthcare professionals, medical and scientific advisors, as well as in-house counsels and sales representatives.
The seminar was part of the IFPMA’s mission to support efforts worldwide to uphold ethical standards. It discussed the progress Ghana and other African countries had made in raising their standards in the ethics and business integrity space which was contributing to IFPMA’s goal to create a level playing field in Africa.
It also provided practical training on how to interact with healthcare professionals, how to interact with patient organisations and how to set up and run successful compliance programmes.