Global MedTech Industry works together to Enhance Compliance Practices Across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, China & Asia-Pacific


Revised code of ethics to end direct sponsorships of Health Care Professionals (HCPs) at third-party educational events globally and across the MENA region

New policy enables companies to devote more resources to high-impact training and education opportunities for HCPs, providing better, more effective healthcare services

The fast-growth Medical Technology (MedTech) industry is driving the introduction of new, live-saving healthcare devices, processes and procedures, and with the development and increased use of these emerging technologies comes a need for industry regulation to ensure their safe and effective use. Mecomed – the medical devices, imaging and diagnostics trade association for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – today announced that it is working with AdvaMed, APACMed, and MedTech Europe, which represent manufacturers of medical devices and diagnostics around the world, to institute policy changes that affect how MedTech companies support the training and education of Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), in the region and globally.

“Our industry’s support for HCP training and education is critical for the continued development of advanced medical technologies, and their safe and effective use for the benefit of patients. Such support is essential due to the rapid innovation of medical technologies and diagnostics, and their typically complex electronic, mechanical and physiological properties,” said Mr. Rami Rajab, Chairman of Mecomed.

Effective from January 1, 2018; the new policy will ensure that companies no longer select or influence the selection of specific doctors or healthcare sector attendees at third-party educational events; directly arrange or pay for HCP attendees’ travel, accommodation and/or registration; or reimburse the expenses of specific HCP attendees at third-party educational events.

“We also maintain a deep commitment to supporting the highest ethical standards. Collaboration and interactions with medical professionals and healthcare organizations must be transparent, and must be balanced against the need for those working in healthcare to make independent decisions regarding patient care and treatment,” Mr. Rajab added.

The regional MedTech trade associations work together towards promoting high ethical standards in interactions between member companies and healthcare professionals and health care organizations, and strive to achieve timely patient access to safe and effective products to that help them live longer, healthier lives.

For these reasons, the itrade bodies are instituting these policy changes that affect how medical technology companies support HCP training and education around the world:

  • The industry has revised its codes of ethics in the Middle East and North Africa (the Mecomed Code), in China (the AdvaMed China Code), in Europe (the MedTech Europe Code), and in the Asia-Pacific region (the APACMed Code) to strengthen their collective commitment to HCP training and education, and to ethics and integrity.
  • One of the key revisions in the codes is the elimination of “direct sponsorship” of HCP attendance at third-party educational events, such as medical conferences and congresses, effective January 1, 2018. “Direct sponsorship” means those situations in which a company selects and pays for an individual HCP’s registration fee, travel, lodging, and meals/hospitality to attend a third-party educational event.

Commenting on the new policy, Mr. Rajab said, “These changes do not diminish companies’ commitment to HCP training and education; rather, what will change is how companies support third-party educational events. Companies may offer educational grants and sponsorship to third-party conference organizers, health care institutions, or professional associations to enable them to select HCPs to attend third-party educational events. Companies will also continue to host and support robust technical product and procedure training, and educational meetings, which instruct those working in the healthcare sector on how to safely and effectively use our companies’ complex, life-saving products. With the end of direct sponsorships, we anticipate that companies will have more resources to devote to high-impact HCP training and education opportunities based on companies’ individual educational strategies”.

The MENA MedTech market is valued at $7 billion, and is expected to grow to $11 billion by 2021. With 140,000 people currently employed in the region’s MedTech industry – a number that is also expected to increase – Mecomed is increasing its efforts towards healthcare education, training and sharing of global best practices through partner collaborations, to set credible healthcare standards for the region.

The policy change is regarded as the result of extensive industry discussions and dialogue with key stakeholders over the years, and follows a global trend that began to move away from direct sponsorship, as in the U.S., Australia, and other countries such as Sweden and Russia. AdvaMed, APACMed, Mecomed, and MedTech Europe continue to engage with HCPs, hospitals, and clinician organizations as they face the challenge of development and safe introduction of the diagnostics, medical treatments and cures of tomorrow.

“The medtech industry will keep working towards continued advancement of HCP training and education, for the development of life-saving medical technology, and for the improvement of patient care” Mr. Rajab concluded.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

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