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Health Minister launches med-tech industry code of ethics

Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD recently launched a new Code of Business Ethics for the Irish medical technology industry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. The code, developed by IMSTA the representative body for med-tech supply companies, and, the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the IBEC group that represents the medical technology sector, is based on international best practice and is designed to embed ethical behaviour into routine professional collaborations between industry and healthcare professionals. More information is available at www.medtechethics.ie

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD said: "I welcome the interaction of IMSTA and the IMDA to ensure that all interactions between the medical technology industry and health care professionals are ethical and have the patients well being to the fore."

Barry McBride, Code of Ethics Taskforce Chair and IMDA board member explained: “"Greater collaboration between medical technology companies and the healthcare profession is essential if we are to develop the exciting new technologies of the future. To guarantee the reputation of the industry, we want to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to uphold the integrity of such relationships.

"The code will further protect patient interests, while at the same time enable Ireland's medical technology sector to develop, manufacture and sell life-enhancing and life-saving products, in a transparent manner.

"Ireland's medical technology industry employs approximately 25,000 people in the manufacture and design of medical technology products. It is the second highest exporter of medical technology products in Europe, exporting €7.2 billion worth of product in 2010. A further 6,000 people are employed in the supply of products to the local Irish market.

"The code of ethics will play a very important role in governing interactions between medical technology companies and healthcare professionals, and embed ethical behaviour into routine professional collaborations. This will benefit patients, the clinical community, and our thriving globally-exporting healthcare industry and the economy more broadly."