Prescribing incentives do not breach European law

Prescribing incentive schemes do not breach European law, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled.

Prescribing incentives are legal (Jason Heath Lancy)
Prescribing incentives are legal (Jason Heath Lancy)

The court judged that public bodies may offer financial incentives for doctors to prescribe medicines. But they must ensure incentives are based on non-discriminatory objective criteria and publish therapeutic evaluations, the court said.

In February, the European Court suggested that prescribing incentive schemes could be illegal. It argued they may breach EU directive 2001/83, which prohibits promotion of medicinal products by gift.

A ruling had been sought after a High Court case brought by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) against the MHRA.

The MHRA welcomed the judgment, but the ABPI said it was 'disappointed'. It said the ruling meant patients could not have total confidence in the motives for doctors' prescribing decisions.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus