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.
A common approach to assessment of Third-Party Educational Events
MedTech Europe and EFPIA have a long-standing commitment to strong ethical business practices, in particular as far as industry support to Healthcare Professionals to attend medical congresses (i.e. Third-Party Organised Educational Events).
Since 1st January 2021, MedTech Europe and EFPIA setup a unique and common platform assessing compliance of Third Party Organized Educational Events, in accordance with their respective Codes of Ethical Business Practice.
The aim of such a common platform is to ensuring consistency and harmonisation across the healthcare industry, for the benefit of all stakeholders involved, both associations decided to combine the assessments done by the Conference Vetting System (CVS) and e4ethics, building on existing capacities to create efficiency.
Since 1st January 2021 both platforms are aligned in most aspects:
- Both platforms operate independently from EFPIA and MedTech Europe, via a common Compliance team (CVS 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 are identical for both systems.
Scope remains different between MedTech Europe and EFPIA
The type of Events qualifying for review remained 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, are 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), are looked at
- The scope for CVS (MedTech Europe): International Events when
- The Events are attended by delegates coming from at least two countries of MedTech Europe geographical scope; or
- At least one delegate who is an HCP, registered and practicing in the MedTech geographical area, attends Events taking place outside the MedTech Europe geographic area.
Assessment outcomes are binding for all member companies since 1st January 2021, whether EFPIA and/or MedTech Europe.
The type of support is regulated under the respective EFPIA and MedTech Europe Codes. As such, what and how EFPIA member companies can support Events and Healthcare Professionals, differs from MedTech Europe member companies. The latter can not 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, 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.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) represents the biopharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 37 national associations, 40 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