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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2008 January 5; 336(7634): 14.
PMCID: PMC2174743

Royal college sets up working party to improve relations between doctors and drug industry

The Royal College of Physicians has set up a joint working party with the drug industry to try to create a better relationship between doctors and drug companies, so as to improve the care of patients.

The group, chaired by Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, is taking oral evidence from doctors and academics and representatives of the industry, medical journals, and regulators. It has also asked interested parties to submit written evidence by 31 March.

In a letter inviting submissions Dr Horton and Ian Gilmore, the college’s president, say: “There are barriers perceived to exist between the industry, the NHS and academic medicine that inhibit a truly dynamic and productive relationship between the key players, working in the best interests of patients.

“The Royal College of Physicians identified a need to look into this relationship and to examine in some detail the political, economic, commercial, organisational, professional and public barriers to creating an ideal relationship. The overwhelming principle is to improve patient care.”

People wishing to contribute to the debate are asked to consider certain questions, such as what would be the nature of the ideal relationship between the drug industry, the NHS, and academic medicine, and how can doctors help to advance ethical and productive relations between the industry, the NHS, and academic medicine.


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