South African Health Products Industry
Question 1
As suitable venues to host large cost-effective conferences are limited in South Africa, would Sun City be considered an appropriate venue?

Answer 1
Question 2
Can one sponsor an HCP to attend a site visit abroad? What about preceptorships abroad? Would the same rules apply with respect to travel, accommodation & hospitality as for HCPs who attend conferences?
Answer 2
Question 3
Can our company sponsor a medical conference where an afternoon of golf is part of the agenda?
Answer 3
Question 4
What is ‘Fair market value’ for local HCP activities as we have detected inconsistent payments across industry for e.g. advisory board activity, consulting and delivery of speeches?
Answer 4
Question 5
Can we pay travel time for a KOL to attend an international Ad Board? Can we sponsor a locum to cover the KOLs clinical practice, whist s/he is at the Ad Board?
Answer 5
Question 6
What should we consider if we plan to give a grant to a government institution/hospital. In return we would like the hospital to train certain staff members in our company on disease entities, attend ward rounds etc?
Answer 6
Question 7
In a large radiology practice with a number of HCPs, could one give an international book as a gift if it costs > R2500 as it would be used by a number of HCPs?
Answer 7
Question 8
Can we give HCPs mugs, cell phone holders (for their desk), car cellphone charger, IPad covers? Would these be acceptable gifts in terms of the value & intent? What about gifts to staff of an HCP who are not themselves HPCs?
Answer 8
Question 9
Can we brand a gift to a patient who is already on our product? What gifts are permitted to patients e.g. Could we give earphones to patients to listen to music whilst they are on dialysis or receiving chemo?
Answer 9
Question 10
Can my company give a charitable donation by buying tickets for HCPs to a Sports and Cultural day? The proceeds will go towards the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital?
Answer 10
Question 11
Consumer Competitions –what is the maximum prize value & would this be construed as promotion to the public?
Answer 11
Question 12
What are some of the aspects to consider for product evaluations for medical devices given to HCPs? What about product evaluations to patients e.g. an IVD analyser? Can one sample medical devices to HCPs?
Answer 12
Question 13
Pre-licence activity - Advertisement and promotion are subject to domestic legislation, i.e. if a product is not registered in South Africa, it cannot be promoted, even if the congress is international in nature, unless exemption has been granted in terms of applicable legislation. Who grants that exemption?
Answer 13
Question 14
We would like to find out if we are allowed to invite staff (Clinical and Technical Engineers) from Government Hospitals for a Product Launch on new technology for Operating Rooms?
Answer 14
Question 15
Reimbursement - Please can you assist me. I would like to make use of the services of XXX through a number of CME meetings around the country on the topic of reimbursement and the changing climate but my US colleague says it’s not Code compliant.

The reason given was that depending on the content of the talk, it can be seen as offsetting a business cost for the surgeons (it's not really an "educational" talk but more helping surgeons manage his part of their business). Second, sometimes these talks help guide surgeons to submit for higher reimbursement in an inappropriate manner. But in SA, what about patient access
Answer 15
Question 16
Reply paid cards - We have a pharmaceutical client who sends out a postcard – DL Size with their new product information that is addressed to either a doctor – by name – followed by a postal address or pharmacy – by name and mailed as a first port of call to the healthcare provider.

This means that the address label which is affixed to the postcard will be sent out from our mail house directly to the doctor or pharmacist in question. I wish to point out that it is addressed to a person and therefore it is for the intended recipient.

The recipient does NOT HAVE TO RETURN THE POSTCARD VIA POST TO THE SENDER and this must be stressed. I have been asked by my client to clear the confusion around the difference between a direct mail shot and a response mail mechanism.
Answer 16
Question 17
Items at conferences and exhibition stands - Can a pharmaceutical company put an interactive programme on an exhibition stand that requires an attendee to make a series of judgements and choices regarding a treatment pathway?

When would such a programme become a quiz, if it was not one already?
Answer 17
Question 18
I have been asked to sponsor a Specialist Forum meeting. The committee consists of 4 specialists (surgeon, oncologist, radiologist and pathologist) meeting once every 4 months to plan the meetings. I attend this planning meeting to facilitate logistics and have no input into the topic selection. Once the date and topic is selected, I source the venue, catering.

The Committee sources the speakers. (No honorarium is paid to these speakers)

I print the invitation on the Pharma Company X letter head. This invitation is distributed via two laboratories, to all doctors in the area. I am listed as RSVP, thus I manage RSVPs for catering numbers.

XX sponsor and apply for CPD accreditation.

On the evening of the meeting, I ensure the attendance register is completed and that CPD certificates are distributed.
  • Can the rep sit in the planning meeting?
  • Can the rep print the invites on Pharm Company X letterhead?
  • Can the rep be responsible for the RSVPs?
  • Can the rep attend the meeting?
  • Can Pharma Company X pay for the venue and catering (sponsorship/grant)?

Hospitality costs and provision of alcohol - What is a reasonable cost of a meal and drinks for an HCP for hospitality at a meeting?
Answer 18
Question 19
Meeting venues – follow up on the MCA stance with respect to casino venues to host sizeable HCP meetings
Answer 19
Question 20
Representatives paying for access to HCPs
Answer 20
Question 21
In light of recent amendments to the General regulations published under the Medicines Act (which have introduced CAMs as a Category D medicine which are subject to full product registration), please confirm whether the Marketing Code is applicable to CAMs?
Answer 21
Question 22
It is interesting to note that this organisation HH is advertising 23 CPD points and cash and getaway prizes. Surely this is contrary to the Marketing Code? A discount for early registration is also advertised? And as a health care event it is certainly not in the spirit thereof?
Answer 22
Question 23
How do we address a concern if the company perpetuating the problem is not a member of the MCA?
Answer 23
Question 24
MCA do’s and don’ts for events
Answer 24
Question 25
Is premium economy travel acceptable considering that business class travel for HCPs is generally not acceptable?
Answer 25
Question 26
Are we allowed to sponsor a retirement event / Christmas party for HCPs?
Answer 26
Question 27
Is one allowed to put a sticker on the box of an S0 product advertising the promotional leaflet inside? The reason for my question is that it alters the design that is registered with the MCC (albeit a temporary sticker for a limited duration)
Answer 27
Question 28
What kind of gifts can one give to HCPs, i.e. hand wash and hands lotion, will this be deemed of a personal nature?
Answer 28
Question 29
Social Events in aid of a registered charity
Answer 29
Question 30
MCA Ex-Parte Process – how does this work?
Answer 30
Question 31
We have received a query from one of our business units regarding an online subscription for an HCP who is part of a hospital group…
Answer 31
Question 32
Is MCA endorsement via lapels and high visibility on promo material permitted?
Answer 32
Question 33
Can a company advertise a vaccine to the general public?
Answer 33
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