Dáil Éireann - Volume 402 - 13 November, 1990
Written Answers. - Post-Graduate Medical Meetings Sponsorship.
Mr. Allen Mr. Allen
169. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health if he will make a statement on the draft EC directive leading to a blanket ban on any type of pharmaceutical sponsorship of post-graduate medical meetings; and if he has been approached by the Irish Medical Organisation on the matter.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon) Rory O'Hanlon
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): The Commission of the European Communities  has sent to the Council and to the European Parliament a proposal for a Council directive on the advertising of medicinal products for human use (COM (90) 212 final of 12 June 1990). This proposal was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities No. C 163 on 4 July 1990.
In addition to controls over the advertising of medicinal products and the distribution of free promotional samples, the draft directive proposes that, in the course of promoting medicinal products to persons qualified to prescribe them, it shall be prohibited to give, proffer or promise to such persons, directly or indirectly, any gifts, pecuniary advantages or benefits in kind, with the exception of objects of an insignificant intrinsic value. It is also proposed that persons qualified to prescribe or supply medicinal products be prohibited from soliciting or accepting any such inducements and that the term “advertising” include any incitement to prescribe or supply medicinal products by the gift, offer or promise of any benefit or bonus, whether in money or in kind, including invitations to travel or to congresses.
In view of the potential wide implications, particularly for post graduate medical education and for the price at which medicinal products are delivered to the health services and to the public, I have entered into wide consultations on these proposals with the various professional and other organisations. One of the bodies which have responded in the course of these consultations is the Irish Medical Organisation.
The current position is that responses have not yet been received from all the organisations consulted. When these are received the proposals will be considered in the light of their implications. The proposals will be further elaborated in the context of the deliberations in the EC Council with the benefit of the opinion of the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.
Dáil Éireann 402 Written Answers. Post-Graduate Medical Meetings Sponsorship.