The Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC) that came into force in 2014 regulates relationships between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals (particularly doctors, pharmacists, etc.), healthcare organisations (hospitals, research institutions, etc.) and patient-support organisations. The PCC was developed by the business association scienceindustries, which also oversees compliance with the Code.
The PCC requires companies to disclose the recipients of pecuniary benefits. These benefits include payments for consultancy or other services such as presentations, training events or scientific studies. The term also covers financial support for research and development in the healthcare sector and contributions by pharmaceutical companies towards the cost of attendance at events by professionals, a category that includes registration fees, travel expenses and accommodation. With few exceptions, pharmaceutical companies may no longer give gifts (neither cash nor material objects) to professionals, which is tantamount to a ban on gifts. Wherever possible, disclosure should be on an individual basis, with the aim of making it possible to identify which individual has received the benefit.
An obligation to disclose pecuniary benefits granted to patient-support organisations existed previously, and this was incorporated into the Pharma Cooperation Code.
The PCC brings Switzerland into line with common practice in Europe (EFPIA Code of Conduct) and the USA (Physician Payments Sunshine Act).