European medtech industry association Eucomed will launch a conference pre-vetting system in early 2012 to assess all third-party educational conferences and congresses sponsored by its members.
The new system is the first of its kind in the healthcare industry, because its assessments will be binding.
The independent Eucomed Compliance Panel will assess educational events for compliance with the association’s Code of Ethical Business Practice in relation to such factors as scientific content, location and venue.
Each outcome will be made publicly available via a dedicated website, and relevant stakeholders will be notified.
The Eucomed Code allows member companies to sponsor third-party educational events such as medical congresses, seminars and training courses, subject to restrictions. Until now, members had to establish their compliance independently. The new system will apply a uniform compliance determination process to all Eucomed members.
“The conference pre-vetting system is a unique initiative in the healthcare sector,” said John McLoughlin, Chairman of the Compliance Panel. “It will be supervised solely by our Panel, which is a completely independent body. Eucomed members are required to follow the assessments.
“If a conference receives a negative assessment, Eucomed members may not sponsor either the conference or individual healthcare professionals who wish to attend the conference.”
John Wilkinson, Eucomed’s Chief Executive, added that the new system “is not only necessary for our members in their day-to-day activities but is also key to increasing the consistency and transparency of industry behaviour.”
Eucomed intends to give key stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the assessment criteria.
The pre-vetting system will begin as a pilot and be reviewed 6–12 months after its launch. It will be the sole responsibility of the Compliance Panel.
Eucomed represents 22,500 designers, manufacturers and suppliers of medical technologies in Europe.