Drug companies must be open about using doctors as consultants, new code of practice demands

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1095
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

The way that drug companies hire and reward doctors for consultancy work is to be regulated in the United Kingdom for the first time under new rules laid down by the British drug industry’s trade association.

The revised code of practice from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry bars drug companies from offering “token consultancy arrangements” that are used “to justify compensating health professionals.”

Consultancy work must be covered by a written contract that lays out the services involved, it says, and remuneration should reflect fair market value. Companies should not engage more consultants than they need, says the new …

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