Eucomed, Europe’s association for the medical technology industry, is to enforce a system to review and approve third-party medical educational conferences in accordance with its Code of Practice.
The process is the first of its kind in the healthcare industry, with appraisal criteria containing aspects related to scientific programmes, location and venues.
Currently, Eucomed’s members are able to sponsor educational conferences such as medical congresses, seminars and training courses in order to promote scientific knowledge and medical advancement, provided that the conferences comply with the Eucomed Code of Ethical Business Practice as determined by the individual Eucomed member.
The new pre-vetting system aims to simplify decision-making by providing uniform compliance determinations applicable to all Eucomed members.
The independent Eucomed Compliance Panel will hold responsibility for vetting conferences. Its chairman is John McLoughlin, a lawyer specialising in medical devices.
Describing the vetting process, McLoughlin said: “Eucomed members are required to follow the assessments which are issued by the Panel’s compliance officer or the Panel itself.”
If a conference receives a negative assessment, Eucomed members will not be allowed to sponsor either the conference or individual healthcare professionals who wish to attend the conference.
The outcome of each assessment will be made public on a dedicated website and relevant stakeholders will be notified.
John Wilkinson, Eucomed’s CEO, said the system was “key” to increase the consistency and transparency of the medical technology industry behaviour.
He said: “We, as an industry, have to make sure that all our relationships with healthcare professionals remain beyond reproach. This is why Eucomed fully supports this initiative.”
The review process will begin as a pilot, and will be evaluated 6-12 months after its launch.