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Navigating your Pharmaceutical Licence: Essential FAQs answered

Photo of Sarah Johnson CLA Head of Licensing, Sarah Johnson, answers the most frequently asked questions on the CLA Pharmaceutical Licence.

Here she covers need-to-knows on the Pharmaceutical Licence, as well as the Collaboration Licence and Multinational Licence, she covers all bases to help organisations Copy, Right.

What is the CLA Pharmaceutical Licence?

The CLA Pharmaceutical Licence allows organisations in the pharmaceutical, biotech, life sciences, and medical communications industries to legally copy and share content from journals, magazines, and books.

The licence covers photocopying, scanning, and copying digital content like ebooks, PDFs, online journal articles, certain website materials, and document delivery articles such as those from the British Library. This allows you to legally access and share these materials within your organisation for permitted purposes.

What can I copy under the licence?

The licence covers most books, magazines, journals, periodicals, and a wide range of digital publications from major STEM publishers like Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley. You can copy up to 5% of a publication, a single chapter of a book, or two articles from a periodical, whichever is greater. While the CLA Pharmaceutical Licence covers a wide range of materials, there are a few exceptions. To ensure you’re copying permitted content, use the handy Check Permissions tool on the CLA website.

How can I use the copied materials?

You can use copied materials for various internal communications purposes, such as sharing with colleagues, sharing media coverage, market research, internal training and R&D. You can also send copies to healthcare professionals for medical information, regulatory authorities, external advisors for legal proceedings or regulatory advice, and patent authorities.

Can I share copies externally?

Yes, under certain conditions. You can send copies for regulatory submissions (in any jurisdiction), patent applications, or medical information requests. Sharing for external marketing is not permitted.

What is the Pharmaceutical Collaboration Licence?

This is a free upgrade offered to pharmaceutical licensees that allows content sharing between organisations with a CLA Pharmaceutical Licence (or relevant CCC licence). Only one organisation needs to hold the Collaboration Licence and own the original material. Before collaborating, you need to provide CLA with the names of the companies involved. CLA will contact them to ensure they have the relevant licence.

Do I need a Multinational Licence if I have employees abroad?

Yes, if you have locations or employees outside the UK and want to cover their copying activities, you need a CLA Pharmaceutical Multinational Licence.

Licence enquiries

If you’d like to enquire about a new licence, you can use the form via the form below. Alternatively, you can contact our team on 0204 5120096 or 

Enter your details below and one of our team will get back to you.

If you have further questions or require additional information on our Pharmaceutical Licence, our team are here to help. Existing licence holders can contact our Customer Success team on 020 7400 3171 or 

Whether you’re seeking clarification on licence use or want to discuss licence options, we look forward to hearing from you.