This report provides guidance to those interacting or working with commercial organisations, including the pharmaceutical industry, on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The guidance applies mainly to competing interests but also includes advice on maintaining boundaries and clarity of roles.
All psychiatrists must follow the guidance and standards of the General Medical Council (GMC) and their employing organisations for all aspects of their work, including clinical practice, research, teaching and any other roles they undertake in their capacity as a psychiatrist.
Where relevant, they must follow codes of practice published from time to time by organisations such as the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the government.
Not all competing interests affecting psychiatry are financial in nature.
Other examples include the possible competing interest between a researcher’s allegiance to a school of thought and the integrity of psychotherapy research, or between a psychiatrist’s political commitment and patients’ welfare (Maj, 2008).
Those who hold an elected or appointed post within any part of the College and/or who undertake any work for, or represent, the College in any capacity will be expected to follow the general guidelines mentioned above, and also the guidelines outlined explicitly in this document.