New Code Protects Professional Independence
5th Jan 18
Ensuring that decisions taken by dental professionals on patient diagnostic and treatment options are independent of undue influence by product suppliers is what underpins the industry's new code of practice. It's a pioneering new framework that sets a new benchmark for the interaction between the industry and profession.
Key Issues For The Dental Industry —
In mid-2017 the membership of the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) endorsed the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 which came into effect on 1 January 2018. This version changes some of the compliance obligations of dental product suppliers which are set out below.
The origins of the document stem from a requirement of the Australian Government that ADIA introduce a self-regulatory framework which ensures decisions by dental professionals concerning diagnostic and treatment options are based on sound clinical evidence, not driven by incentives or other influences offered by the dental industry. This principle underpins the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 and it is helpful to note the following in that context.
The major changes associated with the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 from the version that preceded it are as follows:
Gifts To Healthcare Professionals —
At no time can a supplier of therapeutic products offer a healthcare professional a gift in connection with the ordering, purchase or supply of a therapeutic product or when it is in the form of cash / negotiable instruments / gift card (redeemable for anything other than a therapeutic product) / monetary equivalents, except when the benefit is applied against a commercial account. [Read More]
Reward Schemes —
Reward schemes such as when a dental professional accrues points associated with the purchase of products can continue, but only in circumstances when the reward is in the form of other therapeutic goods or a credit against the dental practice’s account.
New guidance on competitions allows these to be conducted by dental product suppliers; however, when conducting a competition there should be no inducement, such as offering a ticket for a prize draw when a professional has purchased a therapeutic product, that may affect the decision of a dental professional as to which is the appropriate diagnostic or treatment pathway for a patient. [Read More]
In considering how this affects the industry's marketing and promotional activities, it is helpful to be mindful of the fact that the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 operates under a set of general principles that regulate the interaction of the dental industry with dental professionals. These principles are:
ADIA Code General Principles —
||Members must at all times comply with the provisions of all relevant legislation;
||Members must not engage in unethical behaviour, misleading or deceptive conduct, or unfair or unconscionable practices; and
||Members must always respect the ethical requirements and codes of practice which apply to dental professionals by their professional association.
Although there is an expectation that ADIA member businesses will meet the general principles set out in the document this does not make the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 the definitive guidance on such matters, nor does it necessarily provide ADIA with compliance responsibility. By way of example, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) clearly articulates expectations insofar as misleading or deceptive conduct, or unfair or unconscionable practices are concerned.
Copies of the ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2, as approved by the membership, and further compliance guidance can be downloaded via the ADIA website at:
The website also includes information about lodging a complaint, the complaints management process and the opportunity for member businesses to get involved in the ongoing review of the document.
The ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 is broadly consistent with similar codes that exist across the entire therapeutic goods sector published by organisations including the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) and Medicines Australia (MA). These all meet what the Australian Government expects of the therapeutic goods sector in terms of the industry’s marketing and promotion of medicines and medical devices.
Member Engagement —
The ADIA Code of Practice - Edition 2 was developed by members serving on the ADIA-CAC Code Administration Committee and the document was subsequently approved at a general meeting of members in mid-2017.
Further Information —
For further information on the preparation of the dental industry's submission to this enquiry an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1300 943 094. To keep up to date follow ADIA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dental.industry or subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental.
Currency Of Information & Disclaimer —
This update was issued on 5 December 2018 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.
This information is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, other images and where otherwise stated.
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