9Learning Programs for Health Care Professionals

9.1General PrincipleFavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

  1. 9.1.1 To facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills among qualified Health Care Professionals, Members may support accredited and unaccredited programs delivered by Health Care Professionals for Health Care Professionals and other relevant collaborators to facilitate their learning. Accredited and unaccredited programs, irrespective of format, serve to enhance knowledge and understanding of advances in health research, health sciences, clinical practice and professional development so that Health Care Professionals can, in turn, provide superior health care to Canadian patients.{{1}}

9.2StandardsFavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

  1. 9.2.1 Topics must not be promotional-oriented and presentations must give a balanced view of all relevant therapeutic options available.
  2. 9.2.2 Innovative Medicines Canada supports the principle of disclosure by Health Care Professionals of any financial or any other material affiliations with its Members.
  3. 9.2.3 Acknowledgment of sponsorship by Members should appear on all program-related materials.
  4. 9.2.4 The resources provided by a Member for planning, implementing and administering a learning program, such as financial or in-kind (such as human, organizational or technological), should be disclosed to enable each party to be aware of sources of funding and expenses through employing transparent accounting practices (e.g. an agreement outlining financial commitments).
  5. 9.2.5 Remuneration of the speaker or moderator must be in the form of an honorarium calculated at fair market value reflective of usual rates of compensation, and may only be provided after the service has been rendered. Reasonable travel, accommodation and out-of-pocket expenses, where warranted, and in line with this Code, may be reimbursed. Remuneration and/or reimbursement of expenses to other Health Care Professionals attending the learning program are prohibited.{{2}}
  6. 9.2.6     Members commit to ensuring that full editorial control of presentation content resides with the Health Care Professional presenter or organizations.{{3}}
  7. 9.2.7      Learning programs supported by Members or through a third party are designed for Health Care Professionals and invitations are to be extended only to Health Care Professionals and other relevant collaborators. These programs must not be offered to the spouses/companions or family members of Health Care Professionals. It is recognized that Health Care Professionals may wish to travel with their spouses/companions or family members. Should they choose to do so, the planning and costs of travel, accommodation, meals and refreshments of the spouses/companions or family members are the responsibility of the Health Care Professionals. Members must not in any way offer support or facilitate the travel and accommodation arrangements of spouses/companions or family members of Health Care Professionals, or extend hospitality to them.
  8. 9.2.8     Members should not be involved in the development of or payment for entertainment in conjunction with any learning program or activity.
  9. 9.2.9     Where meals and refreshments are provided at learning programs, Members must follow the standards as outlined in Section 6 of this Code.
  10. 9.2.10   Attendance of Member Sales Representatives to learning programs is acceptable. Member employees cannot detail products at a learning program. However, it is appropriate to have a booth set up at a congress that is segregated from the learning program(s).

9.3Continued Health Education (CHE) (Accredited programs)FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

This Section applies to all Members and any third party retained by a Member who is involved in the development or implementation of Continuing Health Education (CHE) programs.

  1. 9.3.1      Definition
    1. 9.3.1.1   The term “Continued Health Education” (CHE) includes programs for all Health Care Professionals. The term “Continued Professional Development” (CPD) is included within the definition of CHE. Members are committed to separating CHE from promotional activities and any other activities in which Health Care Professionals receive a fee for service.
    2. 9.3.1.2   The purpose of CHE is to provide programs for Health Care Professionals which follow the content development, ethical guidelines, and have received accreditation from a professional organization such as:{{4}}

      – The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada;
      – The College of Family Physicians of Canada;
      – The Federation of General Practitioners of Québec (FMOQ);
      – The Federation of Medical Specialists of Québec (FMSQ);
      – The Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP); and
      – Other Canadian organizations that provide credits that are recognized by CHE accrediting bodies.

  1.  9.3.2     Standards
    1. 9.3.2.1   All CHE programs and all CHE program-related materials must clearly identify the fact that final accreditation has been obtained.
    2. 9.3.2.2   To ensure professional standards for the industry, Member employees whose job functions include responsibility for CHE development and design as well as other relevant professionals must take a certified course in CHE training prior to or within one year of attaining responsibility for CHE activity.{{5}}
    3. 9.3.2.3   Member employees other than CHE professionals must not be involved in any content development but may be involved in program logistics such as, but not limited to:

      – Execution of agreements, where applicable;
      – Distribution of invitations {{6}} and collection of evaluations;
      – Making arrangements for venue, incidental meals and refreshments in keeping with Section 6 of this Code; and
      – Distribution of accredited learning program material (acceptable to attendees only).

9.4Other Learning Activities (OLA) (unaccredited Health Care Professionals facilitated programs)FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

This Section applies to all Members and any third party retained by a Member who is involved in the development or implementation of activities that have not been accredited, but still involve the presenting of medical/scientific information to Health Care Professionals by Health Care Professionals.

  1. 9.4.1     Definition {{7}}
    1. 9.4.1.1   “Other Learning Activities” are defined as unaccredited programs, events or activities, including self-directed learning programs that do not meet the accreditation criteria set out by the professional organizations listed above in Section 9.3.1.2. They are considered non-promotional in nature. Members must ensure that these activities aspire to high ethical standards, and are balanced.
    2. 9.4.1.2   These programs must not be referred to as “CHE” or “educational” as these terms are reserved for programs that are accredited.
  2. 9.4.2     Standards
    1. 9.4.2.1   Exchange of information on related scientific and clinical issues must be the primary focus of and reason for sponsoring or participating in an OLA program.
    2. 9.4.2.2  Member companies do not support product discussion that is not consistent with the approved prescribing information in the official product monograph. If a speaker or a moderator chooses to speak about unapproved uses of a product, they must be required by contract to inform the audience of this fact at the start of the presentation and a disclaimer should be written on the presentation.{{8}}
    3. 9.4.2.3   Member sales representatives are limited to the following activities related to OLA programs:- Logistics;
      – Preparation of invitations;{{9}}
      – Recommendation of a speaker;
      – Execution of agreements, where applicable;
      – Distribution of invitations and collection of evaluations;
      – Making arrangements for venue, incidental meals and refreshments in keeping with Section 6 of this Code; and
      – Distribution of learning program material (acceptable to attendees only).

9.5PreceptorshipsFavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

  1. 9.5.1      Definition {{10}}
    1. 9.5.1.1   Health Care Professionals’ preceptorships are unique programs that should facilitate learning and transfer of skills and knowledge from one Health Care Professional to another. Preceptorships allow a Health Care Professional to spend time with a trainer who is a recognized expert in his/her field that can withstand external scrutiny, to gain a better understanding and insight into a therapeutic area or disease state.{{11}}
  2. 9.5.2      Standards
    1. 9.5.2.1   To facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills among qualified Health Care Professionals, Members may support a preceptorship program. Payment of honoraria calculated at fair market value reflective of usual rates of compensation for the services provided and reimbursement for the trainer’s reasonable travel and accommodation expenses are permitted.{{12}}
    2. 9.5.2.2  A maximum of five (5) Health Care Professionals, per calendar year, per brand, per specialty by indication, where specific indications call for interactions with Health Care Professionals from different specialties, may be sponsored to participate in a preceptorship program in an appropriate teaching center, being a teaching hospital, a teaching clinic or a university, in or outside Canada. Sponsorship is limited to reasonable travel and accommodations.{{13}}

9.6Speaker Training (Faculty Training) and WorkshopsFavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

  1. 9.6.1     General Principle
    1. 9.6.1.1   For learning programs, irrespective of the format, on new products, new indications or disease state or significant label changes (i.e. patient safety), a need may arise to train an appropriate number of Health Care Professionals who are recognized experts on this information so as that they may disseminate this information to their colleagues for the benefit of Canadian patients. A product or indication is considered “new” up to one year after its initial marketing.{{14}}
  2. 9.6.2     Definition
    1. 9.6.2.1   An appropriate number of Health Care Professionals may be trained on legitimate learning programs, new products, new indications or disease states or significant label changes (i.e. patient safety) for the sole purpose of disseminating this information at subsequent events. These training meetings are referred to as “Speaker Training” or “Faculty Training”.
  3. 9.6.3     Standards
    1. 9.6.3.1   When Speaker training meetings should involve the selected group of recognized experts in the related field to meet at an appropriate venue within Canada, reasonable travel and related expenses including honoraria at fair market value for services may be paid to the trainer and trainees. Appropriate meals and refreshments may be provided in accordance with Section 6 of this Code; however, entertainment is prohibited. These Health Care Professionals must have a written agreement with the Member to participate in the meeting with the requirement to deliver subsequent training to other Health Care Professionals.{{15}}
      1. 9.6.3.1.1   Members must use professional judgment and have only a reasonable number of speaker training sessions consistent with the need to train this select group of Health Care Professional experts/leaders.
      2. 9.6.3.1.2   Speaker training sessions may not include more than twenty (20) Health Care Professional trainees per meeting. The Health Care Professional trainers are excluded from this number.
    2. 9.6.3.2   A Member’s decision regarding the selection or retention of Health Care Professionals as speakers should be made based on defined criteria such as general medical expertise and reputation, knowledge and experience regarding a particular therapeutic area, and communications skills.
    3. 9.6.3.3   The total number of trained speakers must be reasonable relative to the size of the relevant audience of Health Care Professionals.
  4.  9.6.4    Special Circumstances – Speaker Training by an Internationally Recognized Expert
    1. 9.6.4.1   Should the need arise for Canadian recognized experts to be trained by an internationally recognized expert from a country where the new product or new indication is available, Members have the following options:
      • Invite the internationally recognized expert to Canada to conduct the training; or
      • Send a maximum of five (5) Canadian recognized experts per new product or new indication to an appropriate teaching center, such as a teaching hospital, a teaching clinic or a university, to receive this training. Reasonable travel and accommodation may be reimbursed.
    1. 9.6.4.2  Speaker training by an internationally recognized expert can only occur after a Health Canada filing for a new product or new indication and within a reasonable timeline before the expected date of launch of the new product or indication.