Medicines New Zealand And The New Zealand Medical Association Launch Transparency Initiative

Medicines New Zealand and the New Zealand Medical Association have jointly released New Zealand-specific guidelines for the public disclosure of payments around interactions between the biopharmaceutical sector and healthcare practitioners which are in effect from 1 January 2021.

“These reporting guidelines were developed by the two associations with the objective of ensuring that any financial interactions between healthcare practitioners and the biopharmaceutical industry are more transparent and better understood by the public of New Zealand” said Dr Kate Baddock, Chair of the New Zealand Medical Association.

The industry provides sponsorship to healthcare practitioners so they may attend independent healthcare and medical education events and conferences; and supplements the limited continuing education budgets available from the public health system.

“This form of sponsorship enables New Zealand healthcare practitioners to keep in touch with the latest clinical and scientific knowledge and to undertake training opportunities that also benefits patient care and the New Zealand health system” said Dr Baddock.

Several developed countries including Australia, the UK and the EU already have disclosure of payment reporting systems, and with the roll out of this current joint transparency initiative,New Zealand will be joining that group of countries.

“Medicines New Zealand’s member companies, the NZMA and key stakeholders such as organisations representing healthcare practitioners have all responded positively to this transparency initiative”said Dr Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.

While Medicines New Zealand cannot require all biopharmaceutical companies operating in New Zealand to follow the guidelines, it will invite non-member companies to adopt the voluntary disclosure of payments guidelines in the spirit of public transparency and in the interests of the reputation of the wider biopharmaceutical industry.

“Public reporting of payments made by the biopharmaceutical industry to healthcare practitioners is the right thing to do from a transparency perspective” said Dr Jarvis.

“Patients can now understand the nature of these interactions and have confidence in both the ethical standards but also the patient-focus of doctors and other healthcare practitioners in New Zealand.”

 

The transparency guidelines and an accompanying frequently asked questions resource are available from the Medicines New Zealand website here.

Contact Medicines New Zealand:

Kristen Edwards, Communications Advisor,Medicines New Zealand.

Ph: 027 534 6461

Contact  New Zealand Medical Association:

Diana Wolken, Communications Manager, New  Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

Ph: 027 553 5545 or communications@nzma.org.nz