Binding Code of Ethics covers pharmaceutical marketing

The Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea, is the authority in charge of controlling the marketing of pharmaceuticals.  For over 50 years, its operations have been complemented by the independent and voluntary control system managed by the pharmaceutical industry.

The PIF Code of Ethics complements the control exercised by the authorities. The PIF Code contains detailed provisions on the way in which pharmaceutical marketing and information should be targeted at consumers and healthcare professionals.

The independent and impartial Supervisory Commission for the Marketing of Medicinal Products, as well as its Inspection Boards guide and monitor the application and compliance with the Code of Ethics.

All PIF member companies are committed to the PIF Code and adhere to it. Non-member companies can commit to the Code on a voluntary basis.  The voluntary control of marketing exercised by the pharmaceutical industry is an open system. Anyone can lodge a complaint if the operation of a PIF member company violates the Code.

Ground rules for marketing:

  • The marketing of prescription-only medicines can only be targeted at professionals who are entitled to prescribe or dispense medicines and need pharmaceutical information in their work. These professionals include doctors, dentists and veterinarians as well as the pharmaceutical personnel at pharmacies.
  • Only self-care medicines available without prescription may be marketed to consumers. Consumer marketing of prescription-only medicines is prohibited.
  • A pharmaceutical company can inform consumers about various diseases and their prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The health information focused on disease awareness must guide the consumer towards additional information on health promotion and the treatment of the disease.

PIF Code of Ethics (PDF)

Supervisery Commission for the Marketing of Medicinal Products

Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea)