New UK guidance on industry-health professional collaboration

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3952 (Published 14 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3952
  1. Barbara Mintzes, assistant professor
  1. 1Therapeutics Initiative, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, BC, Vancouver, Canada, V6T 1Z3
  1. barbara.mintzes{at}ti.ubc.ca

If it takes two to tango, let’s not dance

Is collaboration between health professionals and the drug industry a route to better patient care than can be delivered by each party in isolation? This is the central tenet of new UK guidance from the Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG), which represents “professional, representative, and regulatory bodies from the health professional community and life sciences industry.”1

The guidance champions a role for the drug industry in professional education. Sales representatives are “a useful source of information” and professionals should not accept “negative myths” of harm to objectivity from industry partnerships. ESHLSG co-chair Simon Jose, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, highlights that the aim of the guidance is to deal with “some reputational …

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