Who are Healthcare Providers? What is Healthcare Compliance?

A healthcare provider is an individual, institution, or entity that, in the course of their professional activity, may prescribe, supply, administer, purchase, or acquire or recommend a medicine, or influence any of the foregoing.

Some common examples include doctors, nurses, hospitals, and health services.

Healthcare Compliance: We adhere to the laws and pharmaceutical industry codes in the countries where we do business.
For example:

  •  The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Code of Practice.
  •  In the US, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals.
  •  In the EU, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations codes.

You need to be aware of the laws and pharmaceutical industry codes in the country, or countries, in which you operate. You MUST adhere to them at all times.

You should also be aware that healthcare providers must comply with the codes of conduct and policies of their own organizations or companies, and we do not want to create situations that might compromise those obligations.

Working with Healthcare Providers – Experiences Shared

We treat healthcare providers fairly and with care. This means we work to understand and meet their needs. We tell the truth about our products and capabilities and we do not make promises we can’t keep. What does that mean in practice? Four of your colleagues are here to outline what you can do to ensure you always treat healthcare providers fairly and respectfully.


“One of the most important things you can do to cement relationships is to treat patients and healthcare providers with respect. Always adhere to our Code of Conduct when responding to requests and questions from patients and healthcare providers. Be responsive, understanding, and clear when speaking with patients and healthcare providers.”


“Promise only what is appropriate, possible, and allowed for you to deliver, and always deliver on what you promise. If you don’t know the answer to a question, refer the healthcare professional to the right person at our company.”


“Never give in to pressures to cut corners and never tell others what you think they want to hear rather than sticking to what you’re approved to speak about. Always respect the confidentiality of the physician-patient relationship.”


“Don’t send customers from one person to another without getting a real answer. However, that doesn’t mean that we should bend the rules and risk inadvertently giving medical advice.”

 New Drug

Allison tells you that she works with a doctor who is extremely enthusiastic about a drug in clinical trials. He is also looking at a competitor’s existing pharmaceutical product. Allison’s supervisor is encouraging her to share research that shows that the competitor’s drug comes with high risk of severe side effects.

What are the two best ways for Allison to deal with this client?

  • Deal honestly with the doctor and explain that we are awaiting the outcome of our clinical trial and cannot discuss preliminary or
    incomplete data.
  • Tell the doctor he will very likely be able to prescribe the drug soon because the clinical trial is going well.
  •  Share the research criticizing the competitor’s drug that Allison’s supervisor provided.

Treat the doctor with respect and be responsive to his legitimate questions and requests.

 Giving an Opinion

Your colleague, Lisa, was asked by a physician to describe our latest approach to a specific medical condition and to advise him on which drug to select. Lisa knows that while our researchers have a consensus of opinion on the condition, there are other researchers that hold a different view.

What advice should you give her?

  •  Lisa should provide company-approved information about the condition and not give unapproved information or medical advice.
  •  Lisa should send the doctor to the various researchers for their opinions.
  •  Lisa should summarize the opinions of researchers and suggest one of our products.
  •  Lisa should direct the doctor to the most respected researchers for their opinions and advice on which drug to use.

Thanks for helping

Respecting Healthcare Providers means we don’t send customers to one person after another without providing a real answer; and we never give medical advice.
If you are ever asked about differing opinions, you should be forthcoming that differing opinions do exist among researchers outside our company, although you should not comment beyond that.


  •  Treat patients and healthcare providers fairly and honestly.
  •  Be responsive to and clear with patient and healthcare provider requests and questions.
  •  Promise only what you can deliver and deliver on what you promise.
  •  Refer the healthcare provider to the right person when you cannot answer a query yourself.
  •  Avoid inadvertently giving medical advice.

This content is an extract from the healthcare compliance training course

Download our Healthcare Compliance Training Booklet.
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