ADIA critiques Sydney uni paper on dental industry

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relationship between dental industry and dental profession
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An academic paper that seeks to foster debate on the relationship between the dental industry and dental profession, particularly insofar as the provision of gifts is concerned, has been cautiously welcomed by the ADIA.

The paper entitled ‘Looking Gift-horses in the Mouth: Gift-giving, Incentives and Conflict of Interest in the Dental Profession’ was authored by Dr Alex Holden and Professory Haiko Spallek from the School of Dentistry at the University of Sydney.

The concern the ADIA has is that the paper has not fully articulated the commitment of the dental industry to preserving the independence of decision-making by healthcare professionals, and provides only passing reference to the ADIA Code of Practice. This sets a framework on the interaction between the profession and the ADIA member businesses that supply more than 95 per cent of products supplied to dentists nationwide.

“The key objective of the ADIA Code of Practice is that decisions on patient management and treatment options for health needs are based upon sound clinical evidence, not driven by incentives or other influences offered by industry,” ADIA CEO Troy Williams said.

“The paper reviews this aspect of the relationship between the industry and the profession but in doing so overlooks the strong and existing commitments of ADIA members.

“The stated aim of the paper is to stimulate discussion around dentistry’s relationship with stakeholders including the medical devices sector; however, it does this from an incredibly one-dimensional perspective,” Williams continued.

“The paper’s authors haven’t fully appreciated the full scope and shared commitment of the Australian Government and medical devices sector in providing clear guidelines on how the industry interacts with dentists and allied oral healthcare professionals.”

Although it welcomes the paper as an initiator of debate, the ADIA has cautioned using it as the basis for forming considered opinions as it has failed to fully canvass the obligations that the dental industry has to the profession.

Based on a media release sourced from the ADIA website.

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