The Codes of Conduct Advisory Group was appointed in January-February 2013 by the then Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, the Hon Catherine King MP, to help the therapeutic goods industry develop stronger self-regulation including consistent codes of conduct, better communication and shared systems for complaints reporting.
The Government has provided $1.4 million over four years to assist industry with these ongoing reforms which are based on the recommendations of an industry-led Working Group which reported to Government in March 2011. Further changes will be considered if it is found there is a need to provide greater encouragement to non-members of industry associations to nominate and sign up to an appropriate industry code of conduct. The Working Group’s recommendations and the Government’s response can be found at TGA Reforms: A blueprint for TGA's future.
The Advisory Group is chaired by Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom and made up of representatives of the therapeutic goods industry, healthcare professionals and consumers. The terms of reference for the Advisory Group, including a list of members can be found at: Terms of reference.
The first meeting was held in Sydney on 5 March 2013. At the meeting, Advisory Group members received information from a number of industry organisations about revisions they have made to their individual codes of conduct, and further changes they have planned.
The aim of this initiative is to ensure all therapeutic industry sector codes of conduct are based on high-level principles which were recommended by the Working Group and which the Government supported. The high level statement of principles and required code coverage can be found at Appendix B of the Report of the Working Group on Promotion of Therapeutic Products March 2011.
The Advisory Group is working on a number of projects including:
- an initial ‘baseline’ review of the alignment of industry codes with the high level principles developed by the industry-led Working Group;
- and design and development of shared information systems and a complaints portal.
Advisory group members agreed on a work plan for these projects and formed two sub-groups to guide this work.
The Advisory Group is expected to meet about twice each year. The next face to face meeting of the Advisory Group is planned for the end of June 2013.