Healthcare professionals in Australia who accept payments from drug companies will be named and shamed on a public register, the Transparency Working Group has announced.
From 2015, payments or transfers made in the form of cash, grants, charitable contributions or even food must be recorded and reported to Medicines Australia, the founder of TWG.
The healthcare professional’s name, location, payment value and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Registration Number will then be made public.
In a discussion paper published on Friday, the TWG said that doctors will be required to record payments or transfers of $10 or more that are related to prescription medicines, and report annual payments above $100 to Medicines Australia.
Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the release of the transparency model for consultation was a key milestone in the process to provide greater transparency to the important relationships between the industry and healthcare professionals.
"Transparency is important because it builds public trust and confidence in those relationships. Engagement with doctors is important and legitimate because patients want to be sure that their doctors know how to use the medicines they’re being prescribed," added Shaw.
"The working group process has been an encouraging one and an example of constructive cross-sectoral collaboration and dialogue."
Medicines Australia will now consider the model and consult with its member companies and the broader community.
The model will be part of broad industry and external consultation during the review of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct, which begins next month.
Image: Doctors have been accused of accepting payments from pharmaceutical companies to help market their drugs. Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.