Level playing field push to continue despite setback
Medicines Australia is disappointed at the Government’s decision not to accept the key recommendations of the Trimmer Review into the promotion of therapeutic goods, but will continue to push for a level playing field for promotional activity.
Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said it was disappointing that the Blueprint for TGA’s Future, released by the Government today, did not address the issue of different ethical standards within the therapeutics sector.
“The review into promotion of therapeutic goods argued for a consistent ethical standard across the sector between members of industry associations and non-members, but that recommendation has not been accepted,” Dr Shaw said.
“That is very disappointing. This was a rare opportunity for stakeholders across the health sector to implement important regulatory reform which was identified by Government as a gap in industry self-regulation.
“The fact is we need a common ethical standard across the sector. There is no reason why Medicines Australia member companies should be required to adhere to one standard while non-members adhere to a lesser standard.
“We need to make sure our member companies are not disadvantaged by doing the right thing. In releasing its response to the Trimmer Review, the Government stated its support for strong and effective industry self-regulation.
“We need to prevent behaviour that undermines public confidence in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Medicines Australia’s member companies have worked hard over the years to have a Code of Conduct that enshrines ethical standards that meet community expectations.
“There needs to be a level playing field that applies to all companies – not just those who choose to belong to Medicines Australia. Appropriate standards of conduct must apply across the board.”
Medicines Australia welcomes the Government’s commitment outlined in the Blueprint to ensure more transparent regulatory processes in Australia.
The Government’s endorsement of the transparency reforms for the TGA is a step forward for the health system.
“These reforms aimed at greater transparency will help demystify the regulatory process for the ordinary Australians who benefit from them,” Dr Shaw said.
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