Device trade group updates ethics code

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 2, 2009

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Device makers will join pharmaceutical companies in ending the practice of giving doctors so-called reminder items such as pens and notepads, according to a revised ethics code the Advanced Medical Technology Assn. released in December 2008.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade group, known as AdvaMed, said the new code will promote transparency and high ethical standards. The updated code also prohibits the association's member companies from providing entertainment or recreation to doctors or other health professionals.

The new guidelines, however, allow device makers to pay physicians royalties in exchange for "substantial contributions that improve medical technologies."

The new code takes effect July 1 and is available at the AdvaMed Web site (link). AdvaMed's published its first ethics code in 2003. The group said its members make 90% of the health technology purchased in the United States.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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