New Code a move to greater transparency

Medicines Australia member companies will for the first time disclose aggregate payments to doctors and consumer groups under a new Code of Conduct which yesterday received the green light from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Today Medicines Australia agreed to accept the ACCC’s decision to authorise the Code for two years.

Medicines Australia members have overwhelmingly supported looking at even further transparency measures in the future. An industry/stakeholder Transparency Working Group will make recommendations on further transparency of companies’ interactions with doctors in 2013.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the authorisation of the new Code and the industry’s establishment of the stakeholder Transparency Working Group heralded a new era of greater transparency and disclosure.

“Our members are firmly committed to increasing transparency so that the nature of their relationships with doctors and consumers is open to scrutiny.

“Transparency is important because it builds public trust and confidence in those relationships.

“Engagement with doctors is important and legitimate because patients want to be sure that their doctors know how to use the medicines they’re being prescribed.

“Now the nature of that engagement will be much more transparent.”

“I encourage the rest of the therapeutics sector to follow the high standard of transparency set by the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct.

“We accept the ACCC’s two year authorisation of the Code which seems reasonable. We anticipate getting our Transparency Working Group process completed within that two year timeframe.”

The new Code of Conduct, which comes into effect on 11 January 2013, will require Medicines Australia member companies to report in aggregate amounts:

  • All payments made to healthcare professionals for advisory boards and consultancy arrangements
  • All sponsorships of healthcare professionals to attend medical conferences and educational events
  • All payments made to speakers at educational events
  • All sponsorships of all individual consumer organisations for each financial year, including the value of non-monetary support.

The new Code of Conduct is available here


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