In response to today’s Daily Telegraph article Dr Virginia Acha, the ABPI’s Executive Director of Research Medical and Innovation explains why it is crucial for the future of medicine that the pharmaceutical industry works with healthcare professionals (HCPs) within the boundaries of its self-regulatory Code of Practice.
“The relationship between HCPs and the pharmaceutical industry has helped develop many life-enhancing and life-saving medicines. Through dialogue and exchange, we all learn more about needs of patients and how science can progress to better meet those needs. The development of new medicines which can cure illnesses or significantly improve patients’ lives, such as new medicines for Hepatitis C or encouraging developments for Alzheimer’s, rely on working closely with HCPs at many stages of the process.
“We value the advice, expertise and guidance at all stages of the development of new medicines from clinical research, observational work on the value of these medicines in the real world and the potential for treatments to be improved. HCPs tell us that they value what they learn from companies, including the insights shared on the scientific and technological developments for the benefit of patients.
“Continued work with HCPs is critical for future development of medicines and it is right and proper that these professionals are paid for their time, experience and expertise. It is also fundamental that patients are confident that these relationships are above board and transparent. This is why we have requirements in the Code of Practice covering these interactions. In addition, in June next year, we will be publishing details of the payments industry is making this year to individual HCPs. We’ll do this annually thereafter. We are committed to being transparent about our relationships and we believe that the HCPs that we work with will also support this drive for openness.
“All of industry’s interactions with HCPs must be carried out within the boundaries of the ABPI Code of Practice. The Code reflects and extends beyond UK and EU law and sets out clear expectations and behaviours for industry to follow in order to ensure our relationships with healthcare professionals are appropriate. In any instance where companies are considered to not be following the Code, healthcare professionals and others can and should report their concerns to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) which is responsible for administering the Code and the complaints procedure.”
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium 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 over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
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