First Results from the MedTech Europe Vetting System

12.14.17 | By Caroline Franco and Kim Zoetbrood

On 1 January 2018, MedTech Europe will implement several new restrictions. Members will be required to cease direct sponsorships of Healthcare Professionals, start reporting on Transfer of Value on the MedTech transparency platform, and can only provide financial support to third-party educational events if approved by the Conference Vetting System (CVS).

The underlying objective of the new restrictions is to increase transparency around interactions between the industry and Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and Healthcare Organizations (HCOs) to ensure compliance of third-party educational events.

This increased transparency is already evident when someone visits the MedTech CVS website. Earlier this year, MedTech Europe launched its new online platform to help members determine appropriateness for companies looking to sponsor educational grants or commercial activities such as a conference booth. A MedTech Europe compliance officer oversees and reviews each of the submitted event requests, then applies the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice. Events are screened on 6 aspects:

  • Event program
  • Geographic location
  • Event venue facility
  • Hospitality
  • Event registration packages
  • Communication support

Since the opening of the portal, numerous conferences have been submitted through the CVS system. Of the 200 events reviewed for 2018, only 10 have been assessed as non-compliant.

Source: CVS platform

Interestingly, the CVS criteria for event programs and communications were assessed as compliant for all submitted events. This illustrates the fact that the industry is committed to organizing conferences that are truly educational, and communicate about them appropriately. However, as summarized in the graph above, conferences have been judged as non-compliant for the following reasons:

  • Geographic location (23% of the rejected events): The geographic location should be in or near a city which is a scientific or business center, and is conducive to an exchange of ideas and the transmission of knowledge
  • Appropriateness of venue and accommodation (24% of the rejected events): MedTech Europe members may not pay for, or reimburse HCP lodging expenses at top category, luxury or resort hotels. Under no circumstances are these locations to be considered compliant as either a conference venue or lodging:  Resort hotels (meaning a hotel which is part of a complex offering significant recreational, amusement or sporting facilities)
  • Hospitality (29% of the rejected events): Spouses, partners, family and/or guests’ packages may not be paid for by MedTech Europe members. It is not appropriate for spouses or guests of a Healthcare Professional to attend either scientific, educational, training sessions or the exhibition which takes place during third party conferences (unless the spouse or guest qualifies as a participant in their own right), nor is it appropriate for spouses or guests to participate in related hospitality events during those courses or sessions (for example, lunches and coffee breaks) even when the Healthcare Professional pays for the spouse’s or guest’s expenses
  • Registration packages (24% of the rejected events): Educational grant sponsorship packages should be separate from promotional material packages. Sponsorship packages should not contain free admission to a social program

Polaris attended the 2017 Global MedTech Compliance Conference   in Amsterdam, where it was also clear that the industry is adjusting to the introduction of the new MedTech principles.

Polaris has developed a GlobalMedTech solution that provides a scalable, flexible and easy-to-use system that will help companies ensure that their organization is compliant with all Global MedTech Europe requirements. Our tool provides unparalleled functionality and usability, and has been implemented by several Life Sciences companies. To learn more about our Global MedTech solution or any of Polaris’ other services, click here.