Drug firms in Australia to report gifts to doctors starting Oct. 1, ABC says

A new code of conduct for doctors in Australia comes into effect in three months, opening a window for patients and allowing regulators and industry bodies to claim a gain for transparency in a country where prescriptions under the Public Benefits Scheme are a hot-button cost issue. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Medicines Australia will work to ensure payments doctors receive from pharmaceutical companies are posted in a publicly available format from Oct. 1, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, said. Medicines Australia CEO Tim James told ABC that under the new code, doctors and healthcare professionals can only be engaged by member companies for R&D, educational and advisory purposes. "It is against our code to 'wine and dine' or provide gifts to a healthcare practitioner," he said, adding that "any food and beverage must only be supplied as part of an educational event such as a seminar." Report