Leadership

Maintaining Integrity in the Healthcare Industry

By / Oct 16, 2012 (Illustration by Ernie Smith)

The Advanced Medical Technology Association established a code of ethics to ensure appropriate activity between healthcare providers and medical technology companies.

Healthcare companies and the industry organizations and associations that represent them operate in an increasingly global setting. An open and transparent environment in which to do business is fundamental to achieving a high level of patient care as well as economic growth and development.

An open and transparent environment is fundamental to achieving a high level of patient care as well as economic growth and development.

Conducting business in a  global environment can also lead to unclear or disparate ethical and legal standards in different regions—a major hindrance to a variety of innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and large companies that more frequently are looking for new business opportunities overseas.

Recognizing these challenges, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), which represents manufacturers of medical devices and diagnostics, introduced its industry “Code of Ethics on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals,” which outlines what is considered appropriate and inappropriate activity between healthcare providers and representatives of medical technology companies.

The “med tech” industry has a unique and iterative innovation process that is dependent on constant global interactions and information exchange. Life-changing and life-saving products originate from collaborations between industry and healthcare professionals, which require appropriate transparency measures and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and government guidance to ensure they meet high ethical standards.

AdvaMed works hard to communicate the benefits of supporting its code of ethics and educate members on how to abide by its principles. In order for the code to be successful, however, member companies need to understand its various elements and be aware that they can publicly sign on to the code through AdvaMed’s website.

We also have a robust AdvaMed Legal website, regularly host webinars to keep members informed on new regulations and other developments, and have created brochures to educate healthcare providers and teaching hospitals on the value and reporting requirements for appropriate industry interactions.

By working closely with member-company representatives—both one-on-one and through a variety of working groups—we are able to communicate the opportunities and solutions for ethical interactions among our stakeholders and better ensure the integrity of our industry for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Christopher L. White

Christopher L. White is general counsel and senior executive vice president at the Advanced Medical Technology Association in Washington, DC. More »

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