Medicines Australia today said it was committed to its Code of Conduct, one of the toughest of any industry in Australia, and would work closely with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on future versions of the Code.
The Code, which was initiated by industry 40 years ago, sets the framework for the ethical marketing and promotion of prescription medicines in Australia.
Medicines Australia has lodged an appeal with the Australian Competition Tribunal over the condition imposed by the ACCC for its authorization of the 15th Edition of the Code.
"We have advised the ACCC of our decision to appeal the condition but we have also communicated our strong desire to work together so future versions of the Code take on board the ACCC's comments to ensure the Code continues to reflect an appropriate ethical framework defining how our industry interacts with healthcare professionals," the Chairman of Medicines Australia, Mr John Young said today.
The Code has been developed in consultation with, and feedback from, many consumer, medical and health groups.
The updated 15th edition of the Code includes new measures to boost independent consumer representation to ensure rigorous enforcement of the Code against member companies that may breach the Code.
The condition imposed by the ACCC is being appealed due to the concern that it will create a layer of ineffective red tape for our small, medium and large companies that goes well beyond current monitoring measures, and has no precedent for other industries in Australia or the pharmaceutical industry globally that we are aware of.
"We welcome the ACCC's earlier decision to authorise the Code of Conduct but after very careful consideration of the condition, Medicines Australia feels compelled to appeal to the Tribunal," Mr Young said.
Complaints against the Code of Conduct can be lodged by any member of the public. All complaints are assessed by an independent committee made up of representatives appointed by peak medical associations, lawyers with significant expertise in trade practices law, and a consumer representative. Breaches of the Code can attract fines of up to $200,000 and requirement for corrective action.
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