ADIA bans industry gifts to dental professionals

Industry gifts to dental professionals purchasing therapeutic products have been banned by the Australian Dental Industry Association under its revised ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2, which has been in force since 1 January 2018.

The ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 was introduced to address concerns of the Australian Government that marketing and promotional activities undertaken by businesses in the therapeutic products sector may inappropriately influence the decision-making of healthcare professionals.

“Although there was no suggestion that this was occurring in the dental industry, ADIA was pleased to work within an Australian Government requirement that there be consistency across the codes published by all associations in the therapeutic products sector,” ADIA CEO Troy Williams said.

“Thus the dental industry now works within the same framework as not only elsewhere in the medical devices sector, but also the medicines sector.”

A major change arising from ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 is that dental product suppliers are no longer able to offer gifts when a dental professional orders, purchases or is supplied a therapeutic product.

“The days of giving away iPads to dental professionals when they buy dental products is a thing of the past. The ADIA code works to ensure that decisions taken by dental professionals on management—including treatment options—for health needs are based on sound clinical evidence, not driven by incentives or other inappropriate influences,” Williams said.

The ADIA Code of Practice – Edition 2 provides clear guidelines on the interaction between dental product suppliers, recognising that the ethical promotion of dental products is central to the trust-based framework within which healthcare professionals advise and treat patients.

This promotion includes the industry working with dental professionals to develop evidence-based approaches to particular treatments, in the development of educational materials on the correct use of products, and to support hands-on learning in the correct use of certain products.

“ADIA’s work with patient groups has shown that this trust can be undermined where the independence of decision-making by dental professionals may be seen to be compromised by inappropriate product promotion by the dental industry,” Williams said.

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