Code of conduct – ELPA – European Liver Patients Association


This code of conduct contains the general principles which govern the relationship between a patient association and a pharmaceutical company. It applies to all interactions between ELPA and pharmaceutical companies.

Article 2 – Respect

The patient associations as well as the pharmaceutical industry recognize that each has its own specific role in the field of healthcare. They respect the respective particularities, the integrity, the missions, the goals and the responsibilities of each as set out in their governing documents.

Article 3 – Independence

As a governing principle, the independence of ELPA, its health policy objectives, its communication and public relation activities must always be preserved during all interactions and relationships between patient associations and the pharmaceutical industry, this applies in particular for support in form of donations, unrestricted grants etc.

Employees or directors of a pharmaceutical company cannot exercise any role within a patient organization, except when invited by the patient organization to consult on a special issue.

Article 4 – Transparency

In relations between patient associations and the pharmaceutical industry in general, and in the case of all forms of support in particular, there must be complete transparency.

It follows that:

a. The terms of any support must be set out in writing in an agreement between the patient organization and the pharmaceutical company.

b. This agreement must comprise a precise description of the rights and obligations both of the patient organization and of the pharmaceutical company, including the type of support.

c. When support is given for a concrete activity, the patient organization must clearly state that this activity was supported by the pharmaceutical company concerned. The obligation to do this must be explicitly mentioned in the agreement.

In line with Article 3, ELPA (member organization) are responsible for content of and organization of all activities supported by the industry. Such activity cannot be actively organized by the pharmaceutical industry with ELPA (member organization) being invitees only.

d. When support is not provided directly but instead through the intermediary of a third party, this must be clear from the agreement.

e. The support by the pharmaceutical company should be published in line with the local and global transparency guidelines and directives with regard to such activities

Article 5 – Promotion

The direct or indirect promotion of any prescription medicines is forbidden.