We care about our reputation with all stakeholders and in particular with the NHS. We are working very successfully in partnership with many Primary Care Trusts, and in the acute sector to ensure that we dispel old myths about how we work and break down barriers to partnership working.
Our responsibility for medicines extends way beyond sale and purchase as we work hand in hand with healthcare professionals to ensure that our discoveries and innovations bring the best possible outcomes for patients.
The Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG)
The ESHLSG is a multi-stakeholder group with representation from professional, representative and regulatory bodies from the health professional community, the life sciences industry (covering diagnostics, medical devices and pharmaceuticals) as well as patient organisations.
The group’s role is to evolve the relationship between healthcare professionals and commercial life science organisations to ensure that it meets the expectations of stakeholders and creates a platform for increased collaboration and partnership for the benefit of patients. It will do this by promoting positive, collaborative behaviours and addressing areas of reputational vulnerability to health professionals and commercial organisations.
In March 2012, the group launched a new set of guidelines to promote positive collaboration between health organisations and the pharmaceutical industry and help guide their working practices and interaction, Guidance on collaboration and clinical trial transparency principles and facts.
The ESHLSG website is a repository for the outputs of the group. It provides a vehicle to host the online research in to industry supported medical education and manage the consultation on disclosure of payments to health professionals. The creation of the site provides a live testament to the progress made in addressing difficult reputational issues in partnership with our key stakeholders.
Public disclosure of payments to health professionals across Europe, the drive towards increased transparency of industry financial relationships with health professionals, continues to gain momentum. The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) Board has recently approved a roadmap committing to pan-European disclosure of payments made to health professionals on an individually named basis by 2017 for payments made in 2016. In line with this, the ESHLSG consultation on disclosure of payments to health professionals will be open to all health professionals, ABPI and ABHI members and conducted on the ESHLSG website in September 2012.
Clinical trial transparency
The group has also published a series of clinical trial transparency principles and facts, ESHLSG Clinical Trials Transparency - Principles and Facts. This is the first time that leading healthcare professional bodies and senior representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have agreed to a joint approach on this critical issue. This is an important step forward in the on-going move across the entire research community to drive best practice in clinical research reporting.
Promoting positive collaboration
The Scottish Government has adopted the guidance as an appendix to its Joint Working Guidance, and The Royal College of Psychiatrists is refreshing their working with industry guidelines based on the document.