Stephen added: "These relationships are proper and play a vital part in ensuring healthcare professionals understand the detail of new medicines to support future research and development and improve the quality of patient care.
“The changes to the Code are part of the industry’s attempt to address this misunderstanding and to enhance transparency around these relationships. We hope this will allow us to foster greater trust between the medical community, industry and patients.”
Results of a recent consultation,² reported last month in the BMJ, showed overwhelming support for public disclosure of payments within the healthcare professional community and across commercial life sciences companies, with almost 90% of the 1,055 individual respondents agreeing that payments to individually named healthcare professionals by companies should be transparent and publicly declared. The next important step is to finalise the method of disclosure and a number of options are being considered. 80% of respondents to the survey agreed that a single, publicly searchable, central database was preferable. The ABPI and other relevant organisations will now engage further with relevant stakeholders. It is anticipated that the 2015 ABPI Code will include requirements about the method of disclosure. As with all changes to the Code there will be a consultation and it is likely that this will be in summer 2014.³
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Notes to editor
The ABPI Code of Practice is administered by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA).
¹ Many of the changes to the ABPI Code of Practice are to implement the EFPIA Code on the Disclosure of Transfers of Value from Pharmaceutical Companies to HCPs and HCOs. The changes to the ABPI Code are in relation to what information companies should collect in 2015 for disclosure in 2016. Full details of the EFPIA Code are available here
Further changes have also been agreed to the ABPI Code, and a full summary is available here
² The ‘Register of Payments - Consultation Survey' was commissioned by The Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) and paid for by the ABPI. It included responses from healthcare organisations, private companies, NHS and private doctors, academics, and drug industry staff. The full results can be found here
³ The most recent changes to the ABPI Code of Practice do not cover how disclosures will be made - i.e. on a central platform or company website. This will be subject to further changes to the ABPI Code, which will be consulted upon in 2014.