ETHICAL CODE OF PRACTICE
BACK GROUND: The adoption by all members of the Association’s Ethical Code of Practice is in accordance with the key objectives of the Association as set out in Section 4 of the Articles of Association. Members of THAIMED commit themselves to accept this Code of Practice as a condition of membership.
INTRODUCTION: The supply of medical products to the Thai Healthcare market constitutes a billion baht industry meeting the requirements of over 1,000 hospitals and tens of thousands of medical personnel. It represents a very significant contribution to the lives of the Thai people. It is an industry, therefore, in which the adoption of proper ethical standards is of paramount importance and the Association, in establishing this Ethical Code of Practice, is seeking to outline the obligations facing those engaged in the industry so that such standards become the norm. The aim is to encourage all members to provide simple, clear and accurate information on all the products and services they provide to the Medical Profession and the Thai public alike and when required to do so, to provide these products and services both efficiently and promptly. It is desirable that the Association’s membership shall eventually include the majority of those companies engaged in this sector of the medical supply industry, excluding pharmaceutical companies whose own association is competent to serve their requirements.
OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERS:
1.1 All trademarks duly registered in the Kingdom of Thailand must be respected and all copyrights observed.
1.2 It is recommended that members have an established procedure for the recall of products should this prove necessary and that all sales representatives and other involved staff are fully aware of these requirements.
1.3 Members of the Association should adopt the highest standards when recruiting personnel. Member companies found to have deliberately attempted to entice employees of other member companies to transfer their employment without the clear and confirmed agreement of the original employer, may be rendered liable to suspension from the Association by decision of the Board.
1.4 Members adopting this Ethical Code of Practice should do so not only by the letter but also in the spirit in which it is intended.
2. SALES AND MARKETING
2.1 In promoting products to the medical profession or the general public, the information provided should be accurate, fair and objective and should never be misleading either directly or by implication.
2.2 The methods of promotion employed must be appropriate to the learning and professional status of those to whom they are directed and should never be such as to risk bringing discredit to the medical supply industry.
2.3 Disparaging references to other manufacturers, their products or distributors should be avoided at all times.
2.4 All member of the Association should also adopt the latest edition of THAIMED’s Code of Sales and Marketing Practice.
3. SALES REPRESENTATIVES
3.1 Sales representatives should, at all times, maintain a high standard of ethical conduct in the discharge of their duties.
3.2 Sales representatives must be adequately trained and posses sufficient medical and technical knowledge to present information on the company’s products in an accurate and reasonable manner.
3.3 Oral presentations as well as written or printed material must aim at accuracy, fairness, balance and good taste.
3.4 Unfair or misleading comparisons or comparisons implying a therapeutic advantage which is not in fact justified must be avoided.
4.1 In a complex supply industry such as that of medical products, complaints and misunderstandings can easily arise both between distributor and customer and distributor and manufacturer. Usually, however, these may be resolved by the adoption of a fair and professional approach.
4.2 Complaints from customers should be handled both promptly and sympathetically and as much information as possible collected and recorded. In all instances where an investigation is warranted this should be conducted without delay and the results relayed to the customer as soon as they are known.
4.3 Complaints to suppliers should, in the first instance, be directed to the Managing Director of the company concerned stating clearly the facts of the complaint. As much information as possible should be supplied including, where a product is concerned, full details of the purchase of the product from the supplier (invoice number, date, etc.).
4.4 Should a satisfactory resolution of the complaint not result after the supplier has been furnished with all information possible, it may be referred to the THAIMED Board who will provide impartial advice on the next appropriate procedures which may then be followed. It should be noted, however, that use of such procedures does not prevent a complainant from seeking redress through the courts as a last resort.
5. NEW AGENCIES
Members of THAIMED should refrain from making disparaging references or unfair comments about other member companies to overseas suppliers/manufacturers. This particularly applies when one member company is trying to acquire the distributorship of a foreign or local supplier already represented in Thailand by another member company. Member companies found to have deliberately attempted to entice or encourage a supplier, by unfair or dishonest means, to move his business from another member, may be rendered liable to suspension from the Association by decision of the Board.
This Ethical Code of Practice will be administered by the Ethics Sub-Committee. Members of this committee will be senior managers of member companies and its Chairman will also be a member of the Board of Directors.