AdvaMed Updates Ethics Code for Industry-Doctor Interactions

Key changes include sections guiding education and marketing programs, communication on safe and effective use of medtech, and on providing technical support. The update also expands provisions on support for third-party educational and other conferences.

AdvaMed has updated its longstanding Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals (HCPs) in the United States. The last time the code was updated was in 2008. The revisions will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker said the updates reflect evolving legal standards, care delivery models, and best practices over the past decade. He said the revisions are designed to ensure the code's continued effectiveness as a "premier foundational document for ethics and compliance across the medtech industry."

Key changes include: new sections guiding education and marketing programs, communication on safe and effective use of medtech, and on providing technical support; expanded provisions on support for third-party educational and other conferences; clarified and expanded definitions of HCPs and medical technology; and revisions to provide additional clarity, definition, and explanation of existing code provisions. Click here to see the updated code.

“The industry can stand confidently behind these most recent revisions to the AdvaMed code,” said AdvaMed Chairman Nadim Yared, president and CEO of CVRx. “By clarifying existing provisions, adding new sections to address additional types of HCP interactions, and further developing the code’s underlying values, the updates anchor the industry in strong compliance principles."

Medical device companies often collaborate with healthcare professionals to develop new products. Manufacturers also provide training and education to HCPs to ensure their products are being used safely and effectively. These relationships have to comply with certain laws and regulations, but AdvaMed says it also works to foster a legal environment that enhances public health through effective industry self-regulation, focusing on socially responsible conduct.

The code clarifies and distinguishes appropriate activity between HCPs and representatives of AdvaMed member companies, and others who adhere to the code. The U.S. code has also served as the foundation for other associations’ codes of ethics around the world, and for AdvaMed’s Code of Ethics in China, launched in 2016. AdvaMed’s original U.S. code was implemented in 1993.

“These updates continue to focus the industry on positive, necessary collaborations with physicians and other HCPs to bring the most effective and innovative care to patients around the world,” said AdvaMed Chair-Elect Kevin Lobo, chairman and CEO of Stryker. “By helping ensure companies continue to focus on ethical business practices, the refreshed Code reinforces the industry’s commitment to delivering expert care and building products that make a difference for health care professionals and patients.”

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