The ABPI welcomes Jeremy Hunt’s announcement today of a ‘Sunshine Rule’, designed to improve transparency between healthcare professionals and industry as a positive addition to the existing industry-led drive for disclosure and transparency around industry relationships with healthcare professionals (HCPs).
In response to
the article, Dr Virginia Acha, ABPI’s Executive Director – Research, Medical and Innovation, said: “The UK pharmaceutical industry has been governed by a self-regulated Code of Practice for over 50 years which reflects and extends beyond the law. This Code provides a robust framework for acceptable levels of interaction by pharmaceutical companies and HCPs, including in relation to gifts and hospitality. In addition, the Code already has strict requirements on the interaction between sales representatives and healthcare professionals.
“We have led the way with the disclosure of payments to healthcare professionals in the UK since 2012 when we began publishing aggregate payments made by industry to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Our latest initiative will see the publication of payments and transfers of value made by industry to individual healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations during 2015 made public in June 2016 on a single, searchable database hosted by the ABPI.
"We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Department of Health and NHS England as plans for the ‘Sunshine Rule’ develop, to ensure that we maximise our combined efforts on disclosure for the benefit of patients and the public.
It appears that whilst declarations of gifts and hospitality made under the proposed Sunshine Rule signal a common ambition for greater transparency in our relationships, it will cover just a small proportion of the important interaction between industry and HCPs in comparison to our own disclosure requirements. For that common ambition for greater transparency to really improve relationships between healthcare professionals and industry, we also need to align on the great value of those relationships to deliver advances in science and treatment for patients, including research. We have always maintained these interactions are a critical part of advancing improved healthcare outcomes for patients within appropriate and transparent governance frameworks."
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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