The Conference Vetting System (CVS) is a unique initiative in the healthcare industry. It is a centralised decision-making system that encourages transparency and consistency in medical education events and alleviates the complex administrative burden previously faced by MedTech Europe and Mecomed members, who were constrained to make their own determinations on whether or not a third-party educational event they wished to provide support to was compliant with the associations’ respective Codes.
CVS is an independently managed system which reviews the compliance of third-party educational events with MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice and Mecomed Code of Business Practice (the “Codes”) to determine the appropriateness for companies which are members of MedTech Europe and Mecomed to provide financial support to such events in the form of educational grants or commercial activities (booths, advertising, satellite symposium)
Members of MedTech Europe and Mecomed cannot provide support to an event that has not been prior positively assessed by CVS. Furthermore, the decisions rendered by the Compliance Officer are binding on MedTech Europe and Mecomed members. Which means that these members cannot provide support to an event which is found to be not compliant.
The review process is based on a set of 6 criteria that have each the same weight in the evaluation:
The scientific programme, the geographic location, the conference venue, the hospitality, the registration packages benefits, the communication.
MedTech Europe and EFPIA joined forces in 2021 !
Since 1st January 2021, the two trade associations, MedTech Europe and EFPIA, have a unique and common platform assessing medical conferences.
In the context of their respective broad ethical programs, MedTech Europe’s Conference Vetting System (CVS) and EFPIA’s e4ethics assessment platform are coming together. EFPIA is the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. MedTech Europe, the trade association representing the medical technologies industry in Europe, and EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, have a long-standing experience and commitment to strong ethical principles for the support provided in the context of medical congresses (i.e. Third-Party Organised Educational Events).
A new approach to assessment of Third-Party Educational Events
Both associations have decided to combine the assessments done by CVS and e4ethics. Building on existing capacities to create efficiency, the objective of such a move is to ensure consistency and harmonisation across the healthcare industry, for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.
Launched respectively in 2012 and 2010, both online systems review, assess and approve Third-Party Organised Educational Events (i.e. medical congresses) in accordance with their respective Codes of Ethical Business Practice. Therefore, a substantial number of conferences are currently being assessed by both systems.
Essence of the change
Since 1st January 2021, with a 6-month pilot period, both platforms are aligned in most aspects:
- Both platforms operate independently from EFPIA and MedTech Europe, via a common Compliance team, to ensure objectivity and independence in conference assessments.
- e4ethics is aligned with the CVS criteria and approach, including the online proactive submissions by companies or congress organisers (Professional Congress Organisers as well as scientific societies).
- The submission procedure and appeal process is identical for both systems.
The type of Events qualifying for review will remain different:
- For Events assessed under e4ethics, only those that qualify as major international Events taking place in the countries within the scope of the EFPIA Code, will be reviewed. Events in which Healthcare Professionals coming from more than 5 countries may take part and which are expected to attract a significant number of participants (at least 500), will be looked at
- On the other hand, within the CVS,
international Events need to be reviewed when they are taking place within the
MedTech Europe geographical scope. This includes:
- Events attended by delegates coming from at least two countries of MedTech Europe geographical scope; and
- Events taking place outside the MedTech Europe geographic area, attended by delegates who are HCPs registered and practicing in the MedTech geographical area.
Assessment outcomes are binding for all member companies as of 1st January 2021, whether EFPIA and/or MedTech Europe. As it is already the case for MedTech Europe members, all companies need to receive a positive assessment, to support an Event.
What and how it is supported by EFPIA & MedTech Europe members, remains unchanged
The type of support remains regulated under the respective EFPIA and MedTech Europe Codes. As such, what and how EFPIA member companies can support Events and Healthcare Professionals, will differ from MedTech Europe member companies. The latter can never sponsor Healthcare Professionals directly. EFPIA member companies, conversely, can financially support the cost of travelling, registration, and lodging of individual Healthcare Professionals to attend European third-party conferences in accordance with the EFPIA Code – and from 1 January 2021 onwards, as long as the Event has been vetted as compliant.
Both industries have invested in the implementation of self-regulating initiatives, in particular with regards to their interaction with Healthcare Professionals and Healthcare Organisations. This move further supports and facilitates their commitment to safeguard these interactions, and preserve the ethical business conduct of the entire healthcare sector, as well as the ability to continue to collaborate with the healthcare community.
For questions about the MedTech Europe Code, you may contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) represents the biopharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 36 national associations, 39 leading pharmaceutical companies and a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), EFPIA’s mission is to create a collaborative environment that enables our members to innovate, discover, develop, and deliver new therapies and vaccines for people across Europe, as well as contribute to the European economy.
For more information, visit www.efpia.eu