Medicines Australia new Code of Conduct – what does it mean for medical practitioners

13 Aug 2015

From 1 October 2015, pharmaceutical companies who are members of Medicines Australia will begin collecting information about payments they make to individual healthcare practitioners so that they can start publishing it on their websites next year.

Medicines Australia Code of Conduct now requires its members to publicly report details of certain categories of payments made to practitioners. Medical practitioners who receive payments or benefits from pharmaceutical companies should ensure they fully understand the new requirements and any implications for them. For example, practitioners should be aware that the public reports will be published in a format to allow data to be downloaded and analysed.

Reporting will commence in two stages:

From 1 October 2015, pharmaceutical companies will collect data on the relevant categories of payments so that they can publicly report on the payments made to individual health practitioners. In line with Australian privacy legislation, companies will need to seek consent from individuals before this can be published. Individual practitioners will be able to withhold consent.

From 1 October 2016, pharmaceutical companies will only be able to enter into relationships with practitioners who consent to this information being published as a condition of accepting the payment.

A full list of the categories of payments that will be publicly reported and the detail of the information included in the reports is available on the AMA website. Further information is also available on the Medicines Australia website.