ADIA is the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. Our vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians...................... — ADIA Strategic Plan

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ADIA Code of Practice Determinations

ADIA Code of Practice Determinations

12th Dec 16

Summary —

Two recent determinations by the ADIA-CCC Code Complaints Committee have reinforced a fundamental principle underpinning the ADIA Code of Practice, prohibiting promotional activities by suppliers offering a single brand of product.

Key Issues For The Dental Industry —

At the request of the Australian Government, members of the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) approved a code of practice that has as its primary objective the intent of ensuring that decisions on management (including treatment options) for dental and oral health needs are based on sound clinical evidence, not driven by incentives or other influences.  Two recent complaint determinations have provided greater guidance on what this means for suppliers of dental products.

From the outset, the practical implications of the ADIA Code of Practice was that if a business conducted a promotional activity encourages a healthcare professional to purchase a particular type or brand of product (that is used to diagnose or treat a patient) that promotional activity is inconsistent with the principles set out in the ADIA Code of Practice.  The two following determinations and reinforced this outcome.

SDI Limited Complaint —

In advertising literature associated with its March 2016 sales, SDI Limited was promoting therapeutic products in a manner that has been found to be inconsistent with the Code.

The promotional activity allowed dental professionals to receive (by means other than purchase) goods in the form of Apple computing products including an iWatch, iPhone, iPad or Macbook with the value of the good/s rising in a manner that was commensurate with the value of the dental products purchase. Although the dental professional was able to select different types of products under this promotion, there was only one brand of product available.

As a healthcare professional purchasing a particular brand or product would receive a gift (e.g.  an iWatch, iPhone, iPad or Macbook), the ADIA-CCC Committee was of the belief that this may inappropriately influence, or be seen to inappropriately influence, a healthcare professional to purchase that particular brand of product.  There was the possibility that the promotional activity would cause a healthare professional to do other that select a treatment option wisely based on the best available evidence and the consumers’ needs.

Henry Schein Complaint —

The ADIA-CCC Committee found that in its March 2016 sales, Henry Schein Halas was promoting therapeutic products in a manner that was consistent with the Code.

The promotional activity was based upon allowing dental professionals, when purchasing dental consumables and small equipment, to receive a gift in the form of white goods, home entertainment products and computing products including a Macbook.  The value of the gifts rose in a manner that was commensurate with amount of money spent.

This activity was found not to have breached the ADIA Code of Practice as the healthcare professional received the gift irrespective of the types and / or brands or products were purchased.  In essence, the ADIA-CCC Committee found that the activity did not inappropriately influence the healthcare professionals selection of one product over another, as they received the gift in any outcome.

When viewed collectively these two complaint determinations are significant and have reinforced the underpinning principles behind the Code.  As the SDI Limited promotional activity concerned only one brand of product, consistent with the intent of the ADIA Code of Practice the committee determined that the promotional activity may influence a healthcare professional to buy that product, in preference to alternative brands with different properties.  Conversely, the Henry Schien Halas promotional activity allowed a healthcare professional to receive a gift when presented with a selection of multiple brands and product types, thus to a large extent negating a risk that a healthcare professional would select one product brand / type simply to receive a gift.

Member engagement —

The ADIA-CAC Code Administration Committee is responsible for reviewing how the ADIA Code of Practice can achieve the outcomes expected by the Australian Government whilst minmising the impacts on the dental industry.

Further Information —

To keep up to date on development associated with the ADIA Code of Practice follow ADIA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dental.industry or subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental.  Questions concerning the ADIA Code of Practice can be sent to code.complaints@adia.org.au or you can telephone 1300 943 094.

Currency Of Information & Disclaimer —

This update was issued on 12 December 2016 and please note that changes in circumstances after the publication of material or information may impact upon its accuracy and also change regulatory compliance obligations. The statements, regulatory and technical information contained herein are believed to be accurate and are provided for information purposes only. Readers are responsible for assessing its relevance and verifying the accuracy of the content. To the fullest extent permitted by law, ADIA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred in relation to or arising as a result of relying on the information presented here. 
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This publication is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, images and where stated.

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