Healthcare leaders from across the UK have
today published a
new set of guidelines to promote positive collaboration between
health organisations and the pharmaceutical industry and help guide
their working practices and interaction. The statement of best
practice was signed by 18 healthcare organisations, including the
Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The publication comes as collaborative working
becomes an increasingly important way for the NHS to address key
health challenges in a constrained budgetary environment.
The guidance has been formulated by the
Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) which
is comprised of leading figures from the professional,
representative and regulatory bodies from the health professional
community and life sciences industry. The Group was established to
address issues in partnership which impact on the relationship
between commercial organisations and health professionals and
ensures that these relationships meet the high expectations of
stakeholders, and particularly patients.
Specifically the statement:
- Acknowledges that active collaboration can
deliver better patient care and improved outcomes.
- Clearly describes the current working
environment in which pharmaceutical companies and health care
professionals operate and the rules and regulations to which all
parties must abide.
- Details in a "Dos and Don’ts" section,
every day, practical advice for those working in collaboration to
improve patient outcomes
Commenting on the launch, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said:
"The NHS and pharmaceutical industry share a common agenda to
improve patient care and clinical outcomes through high quality and
cost effective treatment and care management. With this
shared interest, pulling expertise and resources allows us to
together tackle disease more effectively.
"This collaborative way of working is becoming
increasingly common and we already have many examples that show how
effective it can be. The publication of this statement by a
broad base of health organisations will help assure professionals
of the good work they are doing and make all sides aware of their
responsibilities. Ultimately, we hope this will encourage further
collaborative working and in turn, greater strides will be made in
improving the health of patients."
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of
Psychiatrists, said: "We are very pleased to have
collaborated with so many organisations on this valuable document.
The College recognises the important and valid contribution made by
pharmaceutical companies and other commercial organisations to
patient care, research and education, and we hope this document
will provide clear guidance for both healthcare professionals and
the industry on best practice."
The 18 organisations who have signed the document are:
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Academy of
Medical Royal Colleges, British Pharmaceutical Society, British
Medical Association, Department of Health, Faculty of
Pharmaceutical Medicine, Institute of Healthcare Management, The
Lancet, Medical Schools Council, NHS Confederation, Royal College
of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of
Physicians of Edinburgh, Royal College of General Practitioners,
Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Nursing, The
Scottish Government and The Welsh Government.
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Note to editors:
The Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) is a multi-stakeholder group with representation from professional, representative and regulatory bodies from the health professional community, the life sciences industry (covering diagnostics, medical devices and pharmaceuticals) as well as patient organisations.
The Group’s role is to evolve the relationship between healthcare professionals and commercial life science organisations to ensure that it meets the expectations of stakeholders and creates a platform for increased collaboration and partnership for the benefit of patients. It will do this by promoting positive, collaborative behaviours and addressing areas of reputational vulnerability to health professionals and commercial organisations.