The Department of Health (DoH) has published new guidance to encourage the NHS to work with the pharmaceutical industry in a bid to improve patient care.
The guidance offers advice on how Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), pharmaceutical companies and clinicians can work together to identify particular medical needs in a community.
The DoH said it had published the advice to encourage NHS organisations and staff to work together to deliver high-quality healthcare, and to make NHS staff aware of their main responsibilities when working with the pharmaceutical sector.
Health minister Dawn Primarolo said: “We know that joint working between the NHS and pharmaceutical industry can bring real benefits to patients so we want the NHS to work with them more to improve patient care.
“This best practice guidance demonstrates that patients really can get better care when the NHS and industry work together.”
The move was welcomed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Richard Barker, director general of the ABPI, said: “The pharmaceutical industry has a huge amount of expertise, not only in the modern, innovative medicines it has researched but also in the conditions they have been developed to treat.
“Increasingly, the importance of this knowledge being shared with our partners in the NHS for the benefit of patients is being recognised, and this guidance can only encourage the constructive use of such activity in the UK.”
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