Dramatic drop in complaints to MA

COMPLAINTS to Medicines Australia (MA) under its code of conduct fell from 39 in 2009–10 to just 14 in the past financial year, resulting in fines totalling $760,000 for member companies.

The majority of the fines imposed were less than $75,000, with one fine in the $75,000–$99,999 bracket and two fines in the $150,000–$200,000 bracket.

Roche Products attracted the largest fine, which related to an offer of funding to an area health service contingent on the number of patients treated with one of its products.

According to the Code of Conduct Annual Report, released last week, six of the new complaints received were from pharmaceutical companies and the rest were from healthcare professionals (4), members of the public (2) and the Monitoring Committee (2).

MA managing director James Cain said the organisation was about to commence its latest review of the code of conduct, with the intention of finalising a revised code by