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In brief

The Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed) Code of Ethical Conduct (APACMed Code) has been revised to include further clarification around gifts. The revisions are effective from 1 January 2024.

In depth

As background, the APACMed is a regional association in the medical technology industry in the Asia Pacific. There are country industry associations that are members of the APACMed, including those from Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Philippines.

The APACMed Code is intended to facilitate ethical interactions between APACMed member companies and healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organisations (HCOs). In particular, the APACMed Code provides standards for the APACMed members to meet the highest ethical standards, preserve HCPs’ independent decision-making and reinforce public confidence in the integrity of patient care, treatment and product and service selection.

Presently, the APACMed Code imposes a prohibition on gift giving and entertainment to HCPs directly or indirectly. APACMed members must also not provide or arrange recreation activities or entertainment for HCPs.

The proposed revisions to section 5 expands on what constitutes “gifts”. In particular, it states that “gifts” includes the following:

  • Items which are neither educational nor patient related (e.g. office supplies, scrubs, electronic equipment capable of personal use, mugs), even if of minimal value, and irrespective whether such items are branded (with a company or product name or logo) or not; 
  • Cultural courtesies such as cookies, wine, tobacco, flowers, chocolates, gift baskets, holiday gifts or cash/cash equivalents (e.g. gift cards, vouchers), irrespective of the occasion (e.g. major life event such as birthday, birth, wedding, demise, etc).

The latest version of the APACMed Code may be found here.

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Andy Leck is the head of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTech) Practice Group and a member of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Singapore. He is a core member of Baker McKenzie's regional IP practice and also leads the Myanmar IP Practice Group. Andy is recognised by reputable global industry and legal publications as a leader in his field. He was named on "The A-List: Singapore's Top 100 lawyers" by Asia Business Law Journal 2018. In addition, Chambers Asia Pacific notes that Andy is "a well-known IP practitioner who is highlighted for his record of handling major trade mark litigation, as well as commercial exploitation of IP rights in the media and technology sectors. He's been in the industry for a long time and has always been held in high regard. He is known to be very fair and is someone you would like to be in the trenches with you during negotiations." Furthermore, Asian Legal Business acknowledges Andy as a leading practitioner in his field and notes that he “always gives good, quick advice, [is] client-focused and has strong technical knowledge for his areas of practice.” Andy was appointed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an IP Adjudicator to hear disputes at IPOS for a two-year term from April 2021. He has been an appointed member of the Singapore Copyright Tribunal since May 2010 and a mediator with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is also appointed as a Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths in Singapore. He previously served on the International Trademark Association’s Board of Directors and was a member of the executive committee.


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