On 14 August 2011 the Mail on Sunday published an article 'Row as drug companies lavish gifts on NHS bosses' discussing the pharmaceutical industry’s support of the medical education of health care professionals. The ABPI sent the following statement to the Mail on Sunday journalist who wrote this article.
“First rate medical education for consultants and doctors is vital to ensuring that patients in the UK receive the best possible treatment and so health professionals need to be able to attend educational events. The NHS does not routinely pay for the education of practising healthcare professionals and travel and subsistence may be paid for by an industry sponsor.
"Patients in the UK benefit when our doctors share knowledge about best practice and new developments in medicine with their international colleagues, and sometimes events may be held abroad. However, the very strict rules of the ABPI Code of Practice make it clear that pharmaceutical companies can only pay for travel and subsistence where the main purpose of the event is education. Anything companies agree to cover must be within reasonable limits.
"It is in the best interests of the NHS, and UK patients, to allow healthcare professionals to learn and develop through academic and medical education. Their continued progress would be severely hampered were they no longer able to receive support from the pharmaceutical and other industries.”
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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.