Australian docs who accept pharma money must be named – ACCC

Australia’s competition and consumer watchdog (ACCC) has demanded that drug companies publicly name any doctor who accepts consultancy or speaker fees or free travel and accommodation.

Unless this condition is complied with the ACCC will not authorise Medicines Australia’s latest Code of Conduct (edition 18).

In light of the U.S. Sunshine Act, the ACCC had previously limited authorisation of the 17th edition of Medicines Australia Code to two years (rather than the five years sought) in the expectation that this would allow the industry to improve transparency provisions.

The 18th edition of Medicines Australia code merely “encourages” health-care professionals to consent to disclosure, while allowing them to opt-out and retain financial and other benefits of their interaction with pharmaceutical companies.

Numerous submission to the ACCC from consumer groups and others argued that this was not good enough; those who failed to agree to voluntary disclosure were likely to be those we wanted to know most about.

The ACCC is seeking submissions in relation to this draft determination before making its final decision.

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
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