Medicines Australia has launched an awareness campaign to ensure healthcare professionals are aware of and understand the effects of new transparency enhancements contained in its updated Code of Conduct.
From 1 October 2015, Medicines Australia 18th Edition of its Industry Code of Conduct will require payments to healthcare professionals to be disclosed online to the public for the first time.
This additional transparency will further enhance the Australian medicines industry’s reputation for world-leading self-regulation, the organisation says.
“Our members are proud of the work that we do to ensure that the public can continue to have confidence in our local medicines industry,” says Medicines Australia CEO Tim James.
“Transparency is a key component of the bond of trust with the Australian public.
“A strong working relationship and the ongoing exchange of knowledge between the medicine makers and healthcare professionals are critical to better patient outcomes.
“Expert advice from experienced healthcare professionals is important to ensure vital new medicines are developed and used safely and effectively.”
The new Code requires Medicines Australia member companies to publicly report when a company pays a healthcare professional for their service or provides financial support for a healthcare professional to engage in education, including airfares, accommodation and conference registration fees.
From October 2015, all member companies will be required to collect and report payments where they have the agreement of the healthcare professionals who are receiving payments.
Following this 12 month period of adjustment, from 1 October 2016, the Code will require reporting of all these payments to healthcare professionals to be mandatory.
Medicines Australia consulted comprehensively with doctor, patient and consumer groups when developing the new transparency measures within the Code.
To ensure healthcare professionals and the community are fully informed about the incoming transparency changes, further detailed information is now available from the Medicines Australia website.
Educational material will also be provided to healthcare professionals’ member organisations, colleges and other trusted sources of information within the community.
Medicines Australia has also written to all key healthcare member bodies offering to support any member briefings that they undertake.
“The new Code ensures that the innovative medicines industry continues to set the benchmark for successful, responsible and ethical industry self-regulation,” says James.
“We are proud of our role in developing it and enforcing its high standards.”