In October this year we posted on the ACCC’s draft determination on the new edition 18 of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct (see more here). As readers of our blog might recall, the ACCC indicated that it would not grant approval to the new edition of the Code unless certain amendments were made to increase transparency regarding gifts and benefits from member pharmaceutical companies to doctors.

The ACCC has now granted interim authorisation for edition 17 of the Code. The existing authorisation for this edition was due to expire on 11 January 2015. The interim authorisation essentially extends the validity of edition 17, maintaining the status quo until the ACCC has made a final determination regarding edition 18.

Interim authorisation allows more time for the ACCC to receive and consider submissions from Medicines Australia in response to the ACCC’s draft determination on edition 18. The ACCC is expected to hand down its final determination regarding edition 18 in the first quarter of 2015.

The interim authorisation of edition 17 of the Code means that Medicines Australia member companies will continue to be statutorily protected from suit for activities which would otherwise contravene Australia’s competition laws.