There is a clear benefit for patients and clinicians – with a greater certainty that products will be properly promoted and will perform as claimed. Clinicians should also appreciate representatives having a clear understanding of their products and a proper technical understanding of how they would be used.
The MIA scheme also provides a means for NHS and private healthcare organisations to quickly and securely check the credentials offered by representatives– thus providing a level of certainty. If a representative has a valid accreditation then they will have passed an accredited examination in ethical behaviour.
The accreditation is based on knowledge of the SDMA Code of Practice – now widely known, and one of the first to be put in place for medical devices. The code is designed to help ensure that products are always promoted to healthcare professionals in a correct and ethical manner. All SDMA member companies have agreed as a condition of membership of the SDMA to fully comply with its Code of Practice.
The SDMA believe there should be freedom of access to clinicians in key areas to allow adequate support and training – so that products are used safely and effectively. Although it is understandable that representatives visiting sensitive areas should be properly qualified and act in an ethical manner – this should not be commercialised, as this will indirectly lead to increased costs to the NHS.