Ethics codes have been getting more attention this year in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with industry groups adopting new business practices standards in the medical device sector.
The European Diagnostics Manufacturers Association and the European Medical Technology Industry adopted a common code on Dec. 2.
The new MedTech Europe Code, which will become binding for EDMA and Eucomed corporate members by Jan. 1, 2017, sets minimum standards by which industry members operate across Europe.
The code regulates all aspects of the industry’s relationships with healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations, such as company-organized events, arrangements with consultants and research and financial support to medical education. The code also introduces a common independent enforcement mechanism.
For example, member companies may provide products as samples at no charge for healthcare professionals to evaluate, as long as they don’t improperly reward, induce or encourage them to purchase, recommend or prescribe the products.
The two codes were aligned because both EDMA and Eucomed codes, established in 2007 and 2008, respectively, had their own specificities, which created inconsistencies in the rules applied to the industry.
In the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region, the number of industry associations with codes of ethics in the medical device sector has expanded from nine in 2012 to 20 in 2015, according to AdvaMed.
Today, the number of APEC economies with a local medical device industry code is at 17, with first-ever industry association codes launched in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Chinese Taipei
“Together, the 20 medical device industry associations across APEC economies represent over 11,000 companies, nearly 8,000 of which are small- and medium-sized,” says Christopher White, senior vice president and general counsel of AdvaMed.