On December 18, 2008, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (“AdvaMed”) announced the release of a newly revised version of the “Code on Ethics on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals,” which is a voluntary code focusing on the industry’s interactions with healthcare professionals as they relate to the marketing of products. The revised Code will take effect on July 1, 2009. The “updated and more rigorous Code of Ethics reflects the medical technology industry’s ongoing commitment to openness, transparency and high ethical standards,” AdvaMed chairman Michael Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards LifeSciences, stated in a press release.
The revised Code is more restrictive than the 2005 version of the Code. The revised Code also includes some of the new restrictions incorporated in the recently revised Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”) “Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals” (see our previous post) including a prohibition on the distribution of promotional non-educational items (e.g., pens adorned with a company or product logo), and a complete prohibition on entertainment and recreational activities.
The revised AdvaMed Code also includes new or expanded provisions related to evaluation and demonstration products; consulting agreements and royalties as compensation; compliance certification; support for third-party educational conferences; company-conducted training and education for health care professionals; research and education grants; and reimbursement assistance. Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. has prepared a memorandum summarizing the most significant changes to the revised Code.