Healthcare: At a Glance - ABPI launches NHS document

What is the document's focus?

Titled 'NHS and Pharmaceutical Industry Working Together for Patients', the document - unveiled this Thursday - seeks to provide a framework for relationships between business and the public sector.

So this is something the ABPI - not the NHS - is pushing?

The ABPI is certainly leading the campaign, but it has brought three NHS organisations along with it: the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) represents the interests of primary healthcare professionals and organisations; the NHS Alliance and the NHS Confederation cover PCTs, individual GPs, nurses and managers.

Who is handling PR for this?

Richard Ley, head of media relations at the ABPI, is the main point of contact. But spokespeople such as Graham Kendall, head of commercial relations for the NHS Confederation, and NHS Alliance CEO Michael Sobanja will also speak to the media.

What's in this for healthcare PROs?

Opportunities to promote their products and services. These NHS organisations are explicit about their desire for involvement with the industry. A spokesperson for the NAPC, for example, told PRWeek: 'The pharma industry can bring a lot of ideas that result in innovations for the NHS.'

Some of the document's highlights?

One main point is that 'joint working should not be seen as an endorsement or promotion of a specific medicine or technology', which will perhaps serve to put some observers at their ease.

What is the reason for the document?

The emphasis is on co-operation for the benefit of patients. The ABPI says: 'Doubts and concerns - many of them wildly exaggerated - have been expressed over how closely we should work together.'

A bit sensitive about the Health Select Committee inquiry, then?

Let's just say that the phrase 'ethical and transparent' seems to be a bit of a mantra for the ABPI and the three NHS bodies at present.

Further information

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