Pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose hospitality

Medicines Australia (formerly the
Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association Inc) has a Code of Conduct which sets the standards for the ethical marketing and promotion of prescription pharmaceutical products in Australia.

Medicines Australia has failed in its challenge to the condition imposed by the ACCC in its authorisation in respect of the Code’s 15th edition requiring each member to report
twice yearly to Medicines Australia on events sponsored by the member for
healthcare professionals. The condition required Medicines Australia to make
such reports publicly available in tabular form on its website and to review
them through its Monitoring Committee. Authorisation was for a period of three

The Australian Competition Tribunal decided in Application by Medicines Australia Inc [2007] ACompT 4 that each member company must report to Medicines Australia
all educational meetings and symposia held or sponsored by that company in the required form for
each month of the financial year and provide a copy of the completed table for two six month periods every
year (July to December; January to June) to Medicines Australia within 14 days
of the end of each six month period. Medicines Australia will make publicly available on its website the
completed table provided by each member company within three months of the end
of each six month period. The table must show the venue, a description of the function (including educational content), professional status of attendees, the hospitality provided, the total cost of hospitality, number of attendees and the total cost of the function.

The authorisations shall be
in force for a period of five years.

The Tribunal was satisfied that "the public benefit derived from the Code
allowing for its identified deficiencies and weaknesses, outweighs the low level
of anti-competitive detriment, if any, flowing from the Code."

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