The Guidance document is under review. It was considered at the March meeting of the ESHLSG. The group is grateful for the comments received in response to our open call for feedback, which closed on 12 March. Information on the review process is provided in a short news statement. For further information on this process, please email the group at email@example.com.
The Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) has published guidance on collaboration between healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.
The ESHLSG document is based on the following core principles:
- Collaboration between industry and healthcare professionals has the potential to deliver significant patient benefit above and beyond what may be delivered by any party in isolation
- Healthcare and industry professionals are able to manage their relationships with each other without compromising clinical decision making
- A comprehensive and robust set of regulations, including UK law, healthcare professionals’ codes and standards and the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry ensure professional and ethical standards are upheld
The document includes 10 things you should know about healthcare professional and pharmaceutical industry collaboration, plus dos and don’ts for both parties.
Useful Links (listed alphabetically)
With the recent focus on the availability of clinical trial data the ESHLSG is reviewing the ‘Clinical Trials – Principles and Facts’ document. We held an open call for feedback, which closed on 12 March. For further information on this process, please email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clinical research is undertaken with the goal of developing new medicines and healthcare products that help people live healthier and longer lives. Clinical trials are a vital part of establishing whether a medicine is safe and effective.
Investigators involved in clinical trials are obliged to report the findings in a timely and non-biased manner. There is a moral responsibility to both the study participants and society to share results freely, facilitating the development of further research involving better trial design, fewer patients and avoidance of unnecessary duplication.
The Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) has produced a document to support best practice in clinical trial transparency and publication of data. It contains a set of best practice principles, supported by information about the legal and voluntary accountabilities that exist to ensure clinical trial activity is transparent.
The document was produced by the ESHLSG. The ABPI/BMJ conference Innovation in research methods and dissemination – ensuring best practice (26 May 2012) where the document was introduced was funded by the ABPI.
Payments to Health Care Professionals
The online consultation is now live. Please click here to read the consultation document prior to completing the survey. Then click here to complete the survey. Many thanks.
About ESHLSG Payments to Health Care Professionals work
Effective interactions and collaborations between commercial healthcare organisations and health care professionals play a vital part in advancing the delivery and quality of patient care.
There is a strong shared determination among leading healthcare professional organisations, patient groups and commercial organisations to ensure that these relationships are based on integrity, honesty, knowledge, appropriate behaviours and trust.
There is also a strong determination to increase the transparency of these relationships so that any concerns among stakeholders can be addressed directly and openly. One way that the Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) believes this transparency can be achieved is through the public declaration of industry payments to health care professionals.
About the online consultation
From 28 January 2013 to the end of June 2013, the ESHLSG will be consulting across the health care professional community and the life sciences industry to understand individuals’ and organisations’ views on the public disclosure of payments to health care professionals. The consultation is intended to establish whether there is support in principle for a system of public declaration of payments to be set up.
Before answering the consultation questions, please read the ESHLSG document ‘Establishing a register of payments received by UK healthcare professionals from commercial organisations’ available to download here.
An ESHLSG report on the consultation will be published mid 2013.
The consultation on declaration is funded by the members of the ESHLSG with additional financial support from the ABPI.
Medical Education online survey now closed. Overall results are currently being review by ESHLSG.
About ESHLSG Medical Education work
Commercial organisations support medical education in the NHS through a variety of activities ranging from small, local meetings to large independent scientific congresses. Such activities are either supported directly (ie the company leads and directly funds all content and logistics) or indirectly (ie the company provides an unrestricted grant). Individual clinicians attending independent scientific congresses may have registration fees, travel, subsistence and accommodation sponsored by commercial organisations. In the case of the pharmaceutical industry all such activity is regulated by the ABPI Code of Practice.
While commercial organisations’ support for medical education is valued by many clinicians, the relationship between industry and health care professionals in the context of medical education continues to be raised by various stakeholders (including the media) as a point of reputational vulnerability for all of those involved. It is unclear whether these issues apply across the range of commercially-supported educational events or whether specific types of events or activities hold particular potential for concern.
About the Medical Education online survey
To understand the issues better and shape future practice, the Ethical Standards in Health & Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) undertook a programme of research to gather and analyse the views of health care professionals and other stakeholders around commercially-supported medical education. The aim of the research was to identify areas of commercially-supported medical education that should be retained, supported and developed, and ascertain any activities that cause concern and should be addressed.
An online survey was shaped by a series of interviews with clinicians, nurses and healthcare managers in primary and secondary care. The survey ran from October 2012 to February 2013. Overall results are currently being reviewed by ESHLSG.
The medical education research project has been funded by the ABPI.