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Healthcare community agree on principles for working together to improve patient health

BIVDA welcomes the launch of these principles and looks forward to a future of transparent and productive collaboration between industry and health organisations. The fact that 18 prestigious healthcare organisations have signed these principles shows that we are entering into an exciting time for all healthcare industries, in which innovation and talent can be developed through constructive partnerships. 

BIVDA Chief Executive, Doris-Ann Williams, said: 

“BIVDA welcomed the opportunity to join the ABPI in working with healthcare professionals in development of this guidance. It is important to demonstrate clearly the transparency of industry/NHS interactions and this guidance will allow a healthy relationship to flourish.”

Healthcare community agree on principles for working together to improve patient health

Healthcare leaders from across the UK have today published a new set of guidelines to promote positive collaboration between health organisations and the pharmaceutical industry and help guide their working practices and interaction.  The statement of best practice was signed by 18 healthcare organisations, including the Department of Health, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government.  

The publication comes as collaborative working becomes an increasingly important way for the NHS to address key health challenges in a constrained budgetary environment.  

The guidance has been formulated by the Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) which is comprised of leading figures from the professional, representative and regulatory bodies from the health professional community and life sciences industry. The Group was established to address issues in partnership which impact on the relationship between commercial organisations and health professionals and ensures that these relationships meet the high expectations of stakeholders, and particularly patients.

Specifically the statement:

Acknowledges that active collaboration can deliver better patient care and improved outcomes.

Clearly describes the current working environment in which pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals operate and the rules and regulations to which all parties must abide.  

Details in a “Dos and Don’ts” section, every day, practical advice for those working in collaboration to improve patient outcomes


Commenting on the launch, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said: 

“The NHS and pharmaceutical industry share a common agenda to improve patient care and clinical outcomes through high quality and cost effective treatment and care management.  With this shared interest, pulling expertise and resources allows us to together tackle disease more effectively.

“This collaborative way of working is becoming increasingly common and we already have many examples that show how effective it can be.  The publication of this statement by a broad base of health organisations will help assure professionals of the good work they are doing and make all sides aware of their responsibilities.  Ultimately, we hope this will encourage further collaborative working and in turn, greater strides will be made in improving the health of patients.”



The Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (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.