Clause 9.5 - Hospitality
Can a Company Representative regularly bring coffee and cake to share with the surgical team when providing daily case coverage?
Hospitality must be incidental to the presentation of scientific, educational or commercial information. Provision of hospitality such as refreshments should not be made in a manner that may create an expectation that it is a routine occurrence. The primary requirement is that any hospitality is modest and subordinate in focus to the primary intent of the meeting.
Can a Company representative provide hospitality to hospital staff if they are visiting to demonstrate a new product?
Yes. If a company employee visits a hospital to conduct a product demonstration, modest hospitality could be provided if it was incidental to the educational presentation.
Is taking a HCP to dinner at a restaurant permitted by The Code?
There are several factors to take into consideration to determine whether the hospitality meets the requirements of The Code. The first consideration is the reason for the dinner, is it for the purpose of educating the HCP or explaining a Medical Technology? If so, has this objective been documented beforehand? After the dinner, have you made notes of the topics discussed and any follow up required? Finally, would a reasonable person consider the cost of the dinner was modest in the circumstances? By making sure you can answer ‘Yes’ to all of these questions, you can help ensure that the dinner will not be found to be an improper inducement offered to the HCP.
We have bought a table at a charity fundraiser to raise funds for medical supplies for outback communities. Can we invite HCPs to attend and sit at our table?
You can invite HCPs to sit at your company’s table at a charity fundraiser, but they would need to meet the cost of themselves and their guests to attend. The Code permits companies to offer hospitality to HCPs in limited circumstances which are:
- in the context of a third party educational conference;
- where there is an educational element or a Medical Technology demonstration; or
- as an occasional courtesy in conjunction with business interactions involving the presentation of scientific, educational or commercial information.
Does The Code allow companies to give conference delegates branded disposable coffee cups and water bottles?
A company must not give a HCP any type of non-educational branded promotional item, even if the item is of minimal value. As such, food and beverages should not feature product or company branding. The Code permits company or product branding on items that serve a genuine educational purpose only.
Under The Code, what does the terms “modest” hospitality mean? And how much is considered to be “modest” hospitality?
The Code does not place a threshold for expenditure on hospitality because this may be too restrictive to address all possible scenarios. The Code states: “A company may pay for modest Hospitality for attending Healthcare Professionals”.
The term ‘modest’ will vary in specific circumstances. Companies are therefore encouraged to develop their own internal standards which address a range of typical scenarios for the provision of hospitality both locally and offshore. Provision of hospitality at international venues should be appropriate to the region. Actual expenditure will naturally vary by location but should continue to be modest and reasonable by Australian standards. Each company should be able to justify what they consider to be “modest” hospitality.