Pharma companies set high ethical standard

Medicines Australia today published its Code of Conduct Annual Report, which documents all determinations made by the independent Code of Conduct Committee during 2007-08.

The report includes the outcomes of the 52 complaints arising from the 14,633 educational events that made up the first educational events report, published in March 2008.

Of those 52 complaints, the Code of Conduct Committee found only 21 to be in breach of the Code of Conduct – a compliance rate of 99.8 per cent.

In addition to the complaints arising from the educational events report, the Annual Report lists 24 finalised complaints that were referred through other channels. In 2006/07 a total of 38 complaints were finalised.

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said the Code of Conduct Annual Report showed that overwhelmingly, member companies are committed to a very high ethical standard of corporate behaviour.

“More than 99.8 per cent of events included in the March 2008 educational event reports complied with the Code of Conduct,” Mr Chalmers said.

“This shows how seriously member companies take their responsibility to engage healthcare professionals in an ethical manner.

“Medicines Australia is disappointed by any breach of the Code of Conduct. We are aiming for 100 per cent compliance with the Code. Breaches can’t be tolerated and won’t be tolerated.”

The vast majority of breaches identified in the Annual Report were either referred by the independent educational event auditor, or were complaints brought by Medicines Australia member companies.

“This shows that we have in place a very rigorous and effective system of selfregulation. It’s independent, it’s transparent and it works,” Mr Chalmers said.

The Code of Conduct sets a high ethical standard for marketing and promotion of prescription pharmaceuticals.

The Annual Report is available from here


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