For Immediate Release: May 14, 2011
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
Commerce Trade Official Releases Ethics Codes Principles Designed to Improve Medical Device Exports
Assistant Secretary Camuñez Presents Results from APEC Medical Devices Working Group
BIG SKY, Mont. – Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez today announced the development of new voluntary principles for a code of ethics within the medical device industry that will improve the quality of healthcare, encourage innovation, and promote small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Camuñez presented “The Kuala Lumpur (KL) Principles for Medical Device Sector Codes of Business Ethics” at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) SME Ministerial Meeting in Big Sky. The KL Principles represent the first time in APEC history that voluntary ethical principles have been developed for a specific industry. The principles will be submitted for endorsement by SME Ministers at their ministerial on May 21.
“Once implemented, the KL Principles will help APEC member economies develop codes of ethics for their respective medical device sectors,” Camuñez said. “The codes will help eliminate corruption, one of the most insidious trade barriers facing SMEs throughout the APEC region.”
These principles were developed in response to a call last year by APEC’s SME Ministers to facilitate open and transparent SME business environments free from the high costs of corruption in sectors of export interest. Officials from 18 APEC economies, and leading U.S. medical device manufacturers represented by their national trade association, AdvaMed, contributed to their development. Use of these principles will drive improvements in the quality of healthcare education and innovation.
“Ethical practices ensure health care decisions are based on the best interests of patients and promote patient access to life-saving medical technologies and the appropriate training of healthcare professionals,” Camuñez said. “This is done by providing companies with clear parameters to guide conduct, as detailed in the five basic tenets of the KL Principles: integrity, independence, appropriateness, transparency and advancement.”
Corruption diverts scarce resources away from critical investments in research and development and innovation. The innovation and SME growth resulting from these principles will promote the development of safer and more effective medical devices.
“Innovation in this sector is not an accident. Investment in research and development represents 12 percent of the sector’s revenue—four times the manufacturer average,” Camuñez said. “With more resources freed up to invest in R&D and innovation, the sector will benefit from even greater growth.”
The KL Principles will be used as a model to develop APEC code of ethics principles in additional sectors of export interest, such as construction.
The APEC SME Ministerial is held annually by the APEC host economy to encourage the development of small and medium enterprises and to build their capacity to engage in international trade.
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