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Doctors’ groups are criticised for endorsing pro-industry guidelines

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6066 (Published 09 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6066
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

An attempt to bring closer collaboration between doctors and the drug industry has had to be abandoned because of unbridgeable differences between the two sides.

The Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG), a high profile attempt at partnership between medical royal colleges, leading industry bodies, academics, the BMA, and the NHS Confederation, has told the BMJ it is disbanding.

The decision came after criticism of the group for publishing guidance on collaboration between healthcare professionals and the drug industry and on clinical trial transparency that included several statements that were pro-industry and not considered to be based on evidence.1

The author and campaigner Ben Goldacre condemned “the great and the good” in the medical world for having endorsed the guidelines, saying that they had given false reassurance to patients and professionals on some of the most important problems facing medicine today.

However, Tim Evans of the Royal College of Physicians said that the group had been useful. “The group has reached a time when it needs to change and evolve into something …

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