Upholding Ethical Standards

Upholding Ethical Standards Critical for Maintaining Trust, Improving Health

12.28.13 | By

The best health stems from the best information, and this includes biopharmaceutical information-sharing with physicians and patients. As the creators of many of the medicines we all rely upon, the companies have the most up to date knowledge on safety and benefit/risk, making conversations with prescribing physicians imperative to better care.

From conducting clinical trials to participating in company-sponsored peer-to-peer speaker programs to relaying patient experiences with medicines back to company scientists, interactions between physicians and biopharmaceutical companies lead to better medicines and better health. 

Indeed, as healthcare systems evolve toward ‘accountable care’ models, biopharmaceutical company representatives are going to be called upon to provide even more technical information and clinical data and analyses to help physicians and payors make better decisions about the medicines they use in order to improve patient outcomes and manage costs.

Many studies have demonstrated that direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising also plays an informational role for patients potentially suffering from undiagnosed conditions, and it raises awareness of treatment options. DTC also benefits the U.S. healthcare system by encouraging patients to seek medical attention that may help manage conditions and avoid the need for costly hospitalization or surgery.

Guiding these interactions are regulations and principles; and ensuring the highest ethical standards are upheld is vital to public trust in these collaborations. But as Andrew Jack points out in his article yesterday, ethical standards have been compromised at times in the past. 

PhRMA believes in the vital importance of responsible and ethical interactions with health care professionals, as evidenced by PhRMA’s Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals, first introduced in 2002 and strengthened in 2008, as well as companies’ support of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. 

Biopharmaceutical companies also have extensive policies, procedures and training in place to foster compliance with PhRMA’s Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. Companies annually certify that they have policies and procedures in place to foster compliance with the PhRMA code. Corrective actions are taken by companies when appropriate.

Upholding high ethical standards is every company's responsibility and maintaining that accountability is crucial to preserving patient and physician trust. 

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