• Press Office

    Posted in category ABPI statement by Press Office on 02/08/2011

    Statement – Response to Scottish Daily Mail article, 2 August 2011

The Scottish Daily Mail published an article on 2 August about the sponsorship of healthcare professionals by the pharmaceutical industry.


The article made a link between industry covering the costs of attending overseas seminars and conferences and undue influence on the decisions of healthcare professionals. Providing first rate medical education to consultants and doctors is vital to ensuring that patients in the UK receive the very best of treatment and this often involves health professionals attending educational events, which are at times located overseas. 

The pharmaceutical industry sponsors health professionals so that they can learn about the latest in healthcare developments, a cost which the NHS, in strained economic times, cannot pick up. Its appropriateness is strictly regulated by the ABPI Code of Practice. 

Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:

“We believe that it is in the best interests of the NHS, and UK patients, to allow healthcare professionals to continue to learn and develop through academic and medical education. Their continued development would be severely hampered were they no longer to receive support from the pharmaceutical and other industries.”

Professor Sir Neil Douglas, Chairman, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said:

“Industry collaboration with the medical community in support of medical education benefits patients, clinicians and the NHS by ensuring British doctors remain at the cutting edge of medical advances. There are strict rules already in place governing industry support for clinicians to attend educational meetings. The medical Royal Colleges are working with industry, through the ABPI, to ensure that industry support of medical education is ethical, non-promotional, meets stakeholder expectations and continues to benefit patients.”

There are strict rules in the Code to ensure that industry relationships with healthcare professionals are transparent ethical and appropriate. Sponsorship of healthcare professionals is permitted, however it is tightly regulated by the Code.

For further information, please visit www.pmcpa.org.uk.  


Media enquiries:

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 or +44 (0) 20 7747 1441
Mobile: +44 (0) 7808 641810 or +44 (0) 7850 312064 
Email: pressoffice@abpi.org.uk    

About the ABPI

We represent innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, both large and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK. 

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing 90 per cent of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases. 

We are the Government recognised body negotiating the pricing of branded medicines on behalf of the entire industry. Working with our Research Affiliate Members, we promote the UK as a destination of choice for international life sciences investment.

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