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.
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