During the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Healthcare Professionals (“HCPs”) whether individual HCPs or Healthcare Organisations (“HCOs”) find themselves in situations of urgent support needs in order to be able to help patients. In this context, COCIR issued on 10 April 2020 a guidance to allow industry to respond to requests from HCPs or to give support to them linked to the COVID-19 crisis. Depending on the type of responses or support given by the industry, this may imply a temporary softening of certain rules of the COCIR Code of Conduct. Read more
The COCIR Code of Conduct was first initiated in 1996. An updated Code of Conduct was published in June 2009 and launched on the occasion of COCIR's 50th anniversary. The Code of Conduct is a reference tool for all COCIR members to help enhance their corporate responsibility and may also be used by non COCIR members. It applies to companies’ activities throughout Europe and will also guide them in their behaviour beyond Europe’s borders.
COCIR published in March 2018 an updated code of conduct covering industry interactions with healthcare professionals. This updated Code will be effective as of 1 January 2019 to allow all stakeholders time to implement the changes to the Code.
A key component of these latest updates to the Code is that COCIR company members will end direct sponsorship, meaning that they will no longer pay the registration fees, travel or lodging costs for individual healthcare professionals to attend conferences organised by third parties.
Changes in the Code have been driven to reinforce independence of individual healthcare professionals in making decisions guided fully by the best interests of their patients, without any potential influence from the industry.
To access our updated COCIR Code of Conduct booklet in English (including Questions and Answers and Do’s and Don’ts), click here.
COCIR is the sole European Trade Association in the industry whose Code contains guidance on public procurement. Its aim is to encourage true and open competition in tendering, equitable and fair distribution of information. This is why COCIR disseminates further summarized COCIR guidance on public procurement through these Do’s and Don’ts.
This leaflet is a communication tool for COCIR Members on end of direct sponsorship.
It may be distributed by COCIR Members to Healthcare Organisations, medical societies, individual Healthcare Professionals, distributors. Indeed, these stakeholders need to know that, as of 1 January 2019, COCIR Members will no longer support registration fee, travel or accommodation costs for individual Healthcare Professionals to attend scientific or educational events.
There will be two exceptions which are (i) the attendance by individual Healthcare Professionals of hands-on procedure training typically performed in a clinical environment and (ii) the attendance by a Healthcare Professional who speaks at a satellite symposium organised in the margins of a third-party scientific or educational event. COCIR Members may continue to support medical education through educational grants to Healthcare Organisation, sponsorship to Professional Conference Organisers and meetings organised by COCIR Members.
Training materials including case studies help test and improve knowledge and understanding of the key principles contained in the COCIR Code, including their practical application.
The training materials can be accessed free of charge.
The COCIR Code of Conduct Committee is composed of lawyers from COCIR corporate companies. The COCIR Code of Conduct will be enforced through a central tool which will have a monitoring function among COCIR members. Notifications of breaches of the Code will be centralised through the COCIR Office and will be allocated to the relevant COCIR member company. A monitoring committee composed of corporate members’ legal counsels will ensure the smooth functioning of the process.
COCIR offers a neutral platform that allows its members to discuss matters of common interest. However, meetings or teleconferences at which competing COCIR members participate give rise to a risk of competition law infringement.
These guidelines provide a general summary of the competition law rules and do not intend to be exhaustive. They are provided for informational purposes only and cannot be considered as legal advice. For further assistance or clarification, please contact a specialized lawyer.
Click here to submit any questions and/or complaints about the conduct of a COCIR member company under the COCIR Code of Conduct.