The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is requiring Medicines Australia to strengthen its public reporting as a part of authorising edition 18 of its Code of Conduct for five years.
The Code sets the standards for the marketing and promotion of prescription pharmaceutical products in Australia by member companies.
Medicines Australia CEO, Tim James, today welcomed the authorisation.
After a significant period of negotiation and discussion between the ACCC, Medicines Australia and key stakeholders, the authorisation of the Code is another step towards greater transparency as a result of industry leadership, says James.
“The ACCC’s authorisation is a significant step in increasing the transparency of relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals,” James says.
“This Code shows the leadership and integrity of the Australian pharmaceutical industry. It will also strengthen the transparency and trust which are so important in the relationship between the industry, healthcare professionals and the community.
“Improved transparency shows the community the importance of the work our member companies does with healthcare professionals to improve patient health outcomes.
“Greater transparency also increases confidence by patients that the working relationship between the industry and healthcare professionals is appropriate.”
The new Code will require Medicines Australia member companies to publicly report when a company pays a healthcare professional for a service or for educational purposes, including airfares, accommodation and conference fees.
“Before final acceptance of the Code, Medicines Australia will talk with our members to discuss the conditions proposed by the ACCC in their authorisation, which will need to be considered in detail,” James says.
The new Code of Conduct is available on the Medicines Australia website.