Today's announcement that the Australian Government has endorsed a self regulatory model for the promotion of therapeutic products has been welcomed by the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), the body representing suppliers of quality products used in dentistry. The announcement by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Catherine King MP, was in response to a working group report considering reform to arrangements for the promotion of therapeutic products.
"This is a sensible decision that allows the dental industry to work with key stakeholders to put in place a stronger framework associated with the supply of dental product in a manner that will not increase business compliance costs," said Troy Williams, ADIA Executive Officer.
The working group tasked with reviewing this issue proposed a number of reforms that would have increased the compliance burden on the dental industry and in so doing increased the cost of dental care. ADIA had advised the Parliamentary Secretary that this outcome was unfortunate in the absence of an identified market failing for the dental industry.
"ADIA's advice to the Parliamentary Secretary was that the proposed reforms represented a paradigm shift for the dental industry in its promotion of products and services. We further advised that a report prepared by stakeholders alluded to significantly increased compliance obligations associated with the promotion of dental product and would curtail many current and legitimate marketing activities that have to date been uncontentious. There was no evidence to warrant a regulated solution insofar as the dental industry is concerned," Mr Williams said.
In response to the Parliamentary Secretary's decision, ADIA will set about the process of strengthening its code of practice, recognising that the ethical promotion of therapeutic products is central to the trust based framework within which healthcare professionals advise and treat patients. Where possible, ADIA will align its code with other industry associations in the healthcare sector.
"ADIAs response will be to ensure that dental product is promoted in an appropriate way that safeguards patient interests without increasing the compliance obligations of business," Mr Williams concluded.