Drug promotion can significantly influence the way medicines are prescribed, dispensed and used. It can lead to over-prescribing and poor quality prescribing and medicine use which, in turn, can lead to increased risks of adverse effects and higher health-care costs. The World Health Organization established the Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion which defines promotion as "all informational and persuasive activities of manufacturers and distributors that affect the prescription, supply, purchase and/or use of medicinal drugs".
The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health worked on adapting these criteria to national circumstances with the help of all relevant stakeholders under the leadership of Dr. Walid Ammar- General Director of the ministry to have a comprehensive code of ethics to prevent the provision of inaccurate and misleading information and promote the rational use of medicines.
The code of ethics provides guidance for health professionals on how to manage their interactions with industry and guidance for industry about how to implement their marketing practices to establish transparency and accountability in pharmaceutical promotion.
The code is now ready to be launched after it was finalized as a result of a wide participatory process that lasted for 2 years with all relevant stakeholders