Big pharma’s big sell to doctors

Sarah Boseley (Drug firms a danger to health, June 26) has helpfully drawn our attention to the report about breaches to the ethical marketing codes of the pharmaceutical industry. We have spoken out about many of these issues, having recognised the influence that marketing may have on medical practice. We have succeeded in reducing the drug company “sponsorship” of our work to less than 5%, and have clear guidelines addressing both corporate and individual relationships with the industry.We recognise we need to do more: for example, to raise awareness among our members of the marketing methods in use. In particular, we hope that our members will understand why patients and carers should know what influences might have affected their treatment recommendations. We are reviewing our own ethical guidelines and are grateful to our patients and carers’ committee for their advice. Some of our work would benefit from continuing pharmaceutical company financial support, but we would prefer companies to contribute to pooled funds without strings attached.

Full Article at:,,1809669,00.html


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