The new guidance has been designed to provide a clear framework for joint working and offer greater clarity of what is allowed in relation to the ABPI Code of Practice and sets standards for open and transparent collaboration between the industry and the NHS.
The kinds of project covered by the guidance are likely to be of significant scale and duration. The focus must be on delivering patient benefit and resources must be pooled.
The guidance has been developed with input from ABPI member companies and consultation has taken place with numerous external stakeholders including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Department of Health, a number of Royal Colleges and other NHS representative bodies.
Steve Barnett, Chief Executive NHS Confederation, said: "The NHS Confederation welcomes this guidance as it should enable and encourage pharmaceutical companies to have mature discussions with NHS organisations, increase transparency and improve patient care."
A spokesman for the NHS Alliance said: "The NHS Alliance welcomes this new ABPI guidance. It is quite right that all parties that undertake joint working - patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical companies - gain from such endeavour. The proposed benefits to all need to be understood and agreed at the outset.
“This comprehensive guidance should assist both NHS organisations and pharmaceutical companies to articulate these benefits in a more open and transparent manner. It is helpful that the MHRA and a number of Royal Colleges have been involved during the consultation and are supportive of the guidance."
A spokesman for the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) said: "The NAPC are very supportive of this new ABPI guidance. As more and more joint working takes place between the NHS and pharmaceutical companies for the benefit of patients, it is important that there is transparency of arrangements to ensure that all parties - patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical company - derive their desired outcomes."
A spokesman for the ABPI said: “This new guidance should give companies reassurance when working with NHS organisations to benefit patient care.”
The new guidance can be downloaded. Please click here (PDF file - 120 KB)
For further information, please contact: ABPI press office on 020 7747 1410