Mdeon - the common ethical platform in charge of handling the visa procedure for hospitality offered to healthcare professionals by pharmaceutical and medical devices companies at scientific events that take place over several days - recently announced on its website a modification to its jurisprudence concerning air travel, to take effect from 1 September 2012.

In the past the Mdeon Visa Office has distinguished between healthcare professionals travelling on flights in Europe, who were required to travel economy class, and those travelling on flights outside Europe, who could either fly economy or business class (but not first class).  From September 1st, a distinction is to be made between healthcare professionals attending scientific events as participants and healthcare professionals attending scientific events as consultants (e.g. as speakers or investigators) as follows:

  • For healthcare professionals attending as participants: economy class tickets, whatever the destination and duration of the flight.
  • For healthcare professionals attending as consultants: economy class tickets, unless the flight is longer than six consecutive hours, in which case standard business class tickets may be authorised.

As a general rule flight tickets should be non-flexible, except in justifiable cases.

A transitional period applies for flights reserved before 3 July 2012.