UPDATED: Hot off the press from the Royal College of Physicians

February 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

The RCP has just issued a press release calling for patients to put be at the heart of pharmaceutical innovation. See here for the full press release. I understand this so far, pharmaceuticals should try to make patients better.

Other parts of the press release are less clear. I think the press release acknowledges that innovations in medicine do sometimes arise from the pharma industry but it also recognises “a failure of trust between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry”. Patients have also lost trust in the medical profession who they believe are too close to the pharmaceutical companies. But it is alright because medical professionals will just adopt the Nolan principles and patient confidence will be regained.

According to the press release, there is to be more collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and medical professionals but the pharmaceutical industry is to be “decoupled” from continuing professional development. Apparently “the collaborative culture” will be “built on respect for the contribution made by those inside and outside of the industry.” As Pharma currently pay for 50% of post-grad medical education, where will the replacement funding come from? Or will post-grad education suffer?

What form will the collaboration take? Well, apparently Britain will regain its advantage in medical research (from European competitors). So is it wrong to read between the lines and think that the collaboration will be in medical research, funded by pharma? If so, it might be good news for scientists and medical researchers in Britain.

For the BMJ’s editorial on this press release, please visit here.

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Entry filed under: Health, Medical writing, Medicine, Pharmaceutical, Science writing.

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