SfEE Announcement re the Continuing Medical Education
SFEE proposes three (3) simple steps towards a transparent institutional framework for medical conferences
Athens, 19 June 2018.– In response to the proposals by the Central Board of Health (KESY) on an upcoming reform of the institutional framework governing Continuing Medical Education and the relationships of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the context of participation of HCPs in scientific events, the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) stresses the need for compliance with the law, ethical promotion and transparency. As is the case in all countries of the world, Continuing Medical Education in Greece, a country also facing a fiscal crisis, primarily relies on private initiative, mostly in the form of sponsorship of scientific events by pharmaceutical companies. It is wrong to demonize the industry’s investment in the education of healthcare professionals or to promote opacity through the draft law being prepared.
The relationships between the industry and healthcare professionals are strictly regulated, and all events, conferences and meetings are first approved by EOF, while SFEE also imposes strict rules by its Code of Conduct (in effect since 2002), and developed on the basis of the guidelines of our European federation, EFPIA, envisaging many procedures and controls. The most prominent provision under both the current legislative framework and the Code of Conduct is the requirement to disclose the interactions of pharmaceutical companies with healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organizations (HCOs). Unfortunately, the regulatory authorities of the country have narrowed the scope of the law, with the result that Greece is today one of the few countries in the European Union that do not apply full disclosure.
Transparency and the ethical functioning of the health system cannot but be our common goal, and cooperation of all stakeholders is crucial. In this spirit, we are inviting the State to a tripartite meeting (State-SFEE-Scientific Societies) to jointly develop, as soon as possible, the institutional framework in three (3) simple steps:
(i) organizing fewer but higher-quality conferences by limiting the number of scientific events;
(ii) safeguarding transparency and disclosure in industry-HCP relationships;
(iii) respecting the SFEE Code of Conduct, which is effectively the most comprehensive regulatory framework governing these relationships today.
Any regulation that will not meet these conditions and, above all, the need for more transparency will find us against it.