PhAMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices for Prescription (Ethical) Products
(21st Edition - 2019)



The PhAMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices was first drawn up and adopted by the membership in 1978. It has undergone constant review by the association and has been amended from time to time where necessary, to clarify it and bring it up-to-date.

Notwithstanding any provision made under the Code, all marketing activities under the Code must conform to all existing and relevant government legislation governing the practice of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The Code owes its existence to the determination of the Association to voluntarily secure the acceptance and adoption of high standards of conduct in the marketing of pharmaceutical products which the industry makes available for prescription purposes to the public. For this reason, members of the Association have concurred in the promulgation of this Code and submitted to its restraints.

The Administration of complaints and the procedure, which sets time frames for processing each complaint lodged, is outlined in the Code.

The Code also includes explanatory notes to amplify the text and interpretation of the Code in some instances.

PhAMA, through its Ethics Committee shall be responsible for receiving and deliberating on all complaints, and in making decisions on each of them, and for communicating their decision to the complainant. The Ethics Committee shall publish the names of companies, which have been found to be in breach of the Code.

Therefore, the major sanction against any company that transgresses the Code is the sanction of adverse publicity.

The objective of the Code is to provide as clear as possible guidelines in disseminating accurate, fair and objective information to the medical and allied profession so that rational prescribing decisions can be made. In so doing, members are obliged to adopt the high standard of conduct and professionalism in the marketing of pharmaceutical products.

There are obvious difficulties in drawing up exacting standard for the Code, especially where the success of application depends not only on strict adherence by members, but also the co-operation of non-members in the medical and allied professions. Self-discipline and restraints are an integral part of the Code, which must be applied not only in spirit but as well as to the letter.

Companies outside the Association are strongly recommended to accept and observe the Code.

This Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices supersedes the previous Code. There is a separate Code that regulates OTC products.


 PhAMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices 21st Edition (PDF File Download, 700 KB)


 PhAMA Guidance on Virtual Interactions with Health Care Professional (PDF File Download, 144 KB)



In 2019 IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations) adopted new Ethos

Accordingly, PhAMA fully shares the new values and principle that are given in IFPMA's new Ethos.