The pharmaceutical industry researches, develops and markets medicines that cure or prevent illnesses, palliate or eliminate symptoms and improve the expectancy and quality of life of patients. Consequently, the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and patients is unavoidable, as the industry works for and because of patients.
Over the last few years, thousands of citizens, in their condition of patients or their families that share interests, needs and challenges have associated themselves around their respective illnesses or disorders to create organisations to represent them. The existence of hundreds of organisations that represent millions of chronic patients has permitted different health agents, such as the pharmaceutical industry, to establish a fluid relationship with patients as a whole.
The pharmaceutical industry establishes and develops collaborative actions with all kinds of patient organisations in different fields, such as the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits, health education, raising social awareness, development of socio-sanitary attention programs or the encouragement of biomedical research.
With the aim of ensuring that the relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and patient organisations are carried out in an ethical and transparent way, Farmaindustria approved the Spanish Code of Practice on Relationships between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Patient Organisations in 2008. In 2014 its content was included within the Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry, latest version dated October 2016th.
This Code is intended to respond, always within the present legal framework, to any matter that may arise, issuing rules of behaviour and clear guidelines that must advise the conduct of pharmaceutical companies in this field. The provisions included in articles 17 and 18 guarantee that the way in which industry interacts with patient organisations is based on the following principles:
- Mutual respect.
- No promotion.
- Multiple funding sources.