Richard Di Natale praises Medicines Australia

Along with fellow Victorian doctors, the Greens’ leader has written a letter to the MJA praising MA’s code of conduct

The letter says Medicines Australia’s October 2016 changes to its code of conduct, which mean the names of all doctors receiving payments from pharmaceutical companies are being published online, are a “significant step forward”.

Submitted by Dr Jessica Dean (Monash Health, beyondblue), Dr Malcolm Forbes (Royal Melbourne Hospital) and Dr Richard Di Natale (Victorian Senator, Greens leader), the letter says that under the new changes it is likely that doctors will think twice before accepting large pharmaceutical company funding for educational events.

“Despite a considerable body of evidence showing that receipt of meals and sponsorship is associated with altered prescribing patterns, many doctors continue to incorrectly believe that they can effectively manage the influence of pharmaceutical company promotion on their decision making,” they write.

“Medicines Australia should be commended for its efforts to improve transparency; its measures are a lesson for other companies with financial interests relating to the practice and preferences of doctors, including medical devices companies.”

They add that to fully realise the benefit of the code of conduct changes, all information on doctor payments should be accessible via a centralised repository that allows patients and third parties to search for an individual doctor.

See the full letter here.

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