A total of 25 major industrial associations from the pharmaceutical, medical device producer and medical care community signed an ethical cooperation framework in Beijing in July in a bid to improve business integrity and professional ethics in the industry.
A pediatrician checks a child at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center in Guangdong province in January. (Photo: China Daily)
The framework, titled the Consensus Framework for Ethical Cooperation in the Chinese Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry, calls on the industry to be patient-centered, to provide quality products and services, adopt ethical and transparent communication and cooperation, and to assume high-level codes of conduct and norms in business operations.
In doing so, it aims to strengthen standards and ethical exchanges among pharmaceutical companies, medical device producers, sales companies, medical professionals, and government agencies, to facilitate the development of professionalism in the industry.
It also requires signatories to design unified, high-level and practical ethical guidelines for the whole industry, initiate shareable training programs to promote high industry standards, and encourage organizations in related fields to join efforts to promote medical innovation and improve ethics.
People familiar with the matter spoke highly of the framework and the medical industry’s achievements in building business integrity.
Patients do not have enough professional knowledge about the quality and safety of drugs, and violations of legal regulations and professional ethics and norms by industry professionals are often the main factor behind breaches of medical safety, according to Ma Zhongming, an official with the inspection bureau under the National Drug Administration of China.
The Chinese government has adopted many measures to foster business integrity and punish illegal and untrustworthy behavior, he said, adding that the signing of the framework reflected the industry associations’ determination and confidence in strengthening industry self-discipline.
The framework aims to enhance the industry’s ethical compliance, and help create a fair and just environment for market competition, said Pan Guangcheng, executive chairman of the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association, one of the 25 industry associations that signed the document.
As part of the implementation of the framework, relevant associations will co-sponsor the drafting of a set of codes for medical representatives, he added.
Tan Shengcai, secretary-general of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products, said he is looking forward to the open and honest communication and exchanges in the industry the framework will bring about.
The chamber is also one of the signing associations. The others include the China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association, the China Association for the Medical Device Industry, and the Chinese Hospital Association.
The framework was signed during the 5th Pharmaceutical Enterprises Ethical Business Practices China Forum on July 6, which has been held almost annually since 2013 to promote industry self-discipline, initiated by the research and development-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee under the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment.