Benefits of Membership
1. Participation in the healthcare decision making process
Through membership of the IPHA Board of Directors, Strategy Boards and/or Advisory Forums, company executives receive an opportunity to shape healthcare policy in Ireland and abroad, as it affects medicines. The key areas in this regard for IPHA have been related to the pricing, reimbursement and promotion of medicines in Ireland, the role and function of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (Formerly the Irish Medicines Board), the correct use of medicines by the general public and awareness amongst the professions and the public of important issues affecting the sector.
2. Information on changes in medicines legislation
Through its membership of international associations (EFPIA, AESGP and IFPMA) and its contacts with the European Commission and government health agencies in Ireland, IPHA has quick and early access to information concerning changes in legislation at home and abroad. IPHA has established a network of regulatory and medical affairs personnel who meet regularly as the Regulatory Affairs Advisory Forum for an exchange of views on regulatory developments at home and abroad.
3. Influencing the shape of legislation
Of course IPHA not only provides companies with information at the earliest possible stage in the legislation development process, it also affords companies an opportunity to shape the legislation to the industry’s needs. Generally this works for legislation that affects the whole industry but there has also been many pieces of legislation which affect only a handful of companies. Our experience would suggest that the companies very much appreciate the services of IPHA when it comes to making representations on a sectoral interest.
4. Individual assistance to companies
Although IPHA’s main role is to represent the interests of the industry as a whole, we do of course, where possible, provide assistance to individual members. Companies sometimes require the support of the Association in their individual dealings with organisations or Government departments. Matters that require such assistance are generally brought before the Rx or Consumer Strategy Board for consideration and resolution.
5. Advisory services
Individual members of IPHA may contact the Executive for speedy advice on any matter relating to the trading/regulatory environment. For example the Executive has a wealth of experience in the application of the Agreement for the Supply of Medicines to the Health Services. Members can also benefit substantially from expert advice in the correct interpretation and application of current medical and pharmaceutical legislation and trends in the health services generally and the pharmaceutical market place particularly. This advisory service is of special benefit to new and small IPHA members.
6. IPHA meetings
IPHA holds a number of conferences, meetings and lectures each year to which all members and their colleagues are invited. IPHA meetings are designed to inform, to encourage debate on topical issues, to gather the views of the membership and to provide a unique opportunity to network and build relationships with colleagues from other companies and stakeholders across the industry. In between there are training classes on the advertising & marketing Codes of Practice, lunch meetings and workshops on topics of interest to members.
7. Surveys and Research
IPHA conducts a confidential industry salary survey each year. Other surveys are conducted as requested. The Association also commissions research on issues of interest to the sector e.g. consumer and healthcare professionals attitudes etc.
8. Relationship building
IPHA has excellent relationships with officials in the Department of Health, Health Services Executive, the Irish Medicines Board, the healthcare professional organisations in Ireland, health correspondents in the medical and national press, schools of pharmacy and medicine, as well as senior political figures in Government and Opposition, to name but a few. Clearly individual members that become involved in the work of IPHA benefit significantly from the large range of contacts.
9. Participation in international organisations
Members of IPHA may participate directly in relevant committees and task forces of EFPIA, AESGP and IFPMA. All documentation provided by these organisations is available to IPHA members. Members have fast, easy access to up-to-date information regarding developments in other countries.
10. Newsletters, bulletins, reports
Newsletters and bulletins of general or specific interest are issued on a regular basis from the IPHA.
11. One Member, One Vote
IPHA operates a strict policy of “one member, one vote”. Every company has an equal opportunity regardless of size, to participate in the Board of Directors, Strategy Boards and/or Advisory Forums.