Non-engagement with The Pharmaceutical Industry

St Martins Practice Policy Statement

At St Martins Practice we have long followed a policy with regard to our relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. We do not engage or work with pharmaceutical companies. Nor do we accept visits from representatives of such companies, offers of hospitality or offers to pay for participation in courses and conferences.

In addition, joint working with the pharmaceutical industry opens the NHS doors to private companies in ways that give us, and patients, grave cause for concern. While the stated aims of each individual joint project seem worthy and enticing, and while they may enable us better to meet commissioning requirements, they can distract us from the industry’s overarching goal: profit.

The way pharmaceutical marketing achieves this goal is by nudging prescribing decisions in the company’s favour. The evidence shows that doctors and other health professionals do indeed change their prescribing behaviour as a result of these initiatives. Marketing works.

Furthermore, research shows that decisions doctors make as a result of being exposed to promotional pressure are altered and may not be in the patients’ best interests.

This paper outlines these concerns, and others, in detail. We believe that the only way of adequately addressing these concerns is to stay away from any kind of engagement with pharmaceutical companies.

Download our full policy & position statement below:

Pharmaceutical Policy.pdf