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RANZCP engagement with the pharmaceutical industry

June 2016

Position statement 78


Summary

This statement covers engagement between the RANZCP as a professional organisation and the pharmaceutical industry. 

Purpose

This position statement outlines the Royal Australian and New Zealand RANZCP of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) position on acceptance of advertising and sponsorship funding from the pharmaceutical industry. The policy will promote greater transparency in relation to the RANZCP’s engagement with the pharmaceutical industry.

It is important to note that this position statement refers specifically to the engagement between the RANZCP as a professional organisation and the pharmaceutical industry and not to the relationship of individual members, research institutions, provider organisations or other relevant parties with the industry.

Key points

  • The RANZCP’s engagement with the pharmaceutical industry will occur in a transparent manner, and will not imply RANZCP endorsement of any pharmaceutical industry activities or products.
  • Although the principles refer to RANZCP engagement with the pharmaceutical industry specifically, the intention of the principles is that they be extended to medical device companies as the issues around these companies are similar. The principles do not cover government agencies, non-pharmaceutical businesses, charitable trusts and foundations.
  • The ‘RANZCP’ includes the RANZCP Board and its constituent committees, Branches, Faculties, Sections and their constituent committees.
  • The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and principles for the RANZCP when engaging with the pharmaceutical and related industries. It is acknowledged that some RANZCP groups / members choose not to engage with the pharmaceutical and related industries and may, therefore, take steps in addition to those set out in this position statement - for instance, undertaking conferences and activities independent of support by pharmaceutical and related industries.

Principles and defined intentions

The nine principles agreed by the RANZCP Board are listed below. Each principle includes a series of annotations outlining the intent of the principle. These should be used as a guide by both members and the pharmaceutical industry to inform RANZCP engagement with the pharmaceutical industry. Queries in regard to interpretation or implementation of the principles should be directed to ranzcp@ranzcp.org.

Principle 1

The RANZCP’s reputation and independence must be considered paramount in its dealings with the pharmaceutical industry and take precedence over all other considerations.

Intent: To ensure that the RANZCP’s reputation is upheld through avoiding transactions with the pharmaceutical industry that could call into question the independence of the RANZCP in development of education and training activities, resources, publications and events.

  • Guidance and adherence to the principles will be overseen by the Board.
  • The RANZCP will ensure that its engagement with the pharmaceutical industry adheres with these principles and occurs in a transparent manner.
  • RANZCP Officers and staff must not receive gifts or any other form of inducement from pharmaceutical companies directly in relation to any RANZCP activities.

Principle 2

Dealings by the RANZCP with the pharmaceutical industry must be transparent and readily discernible by members and the public.

Intent: To ensure that members of the RANZCP and the general public are able to easily access information outlining the extent of the RANZCP’s engagement with the pharmaceutical industry.

  • The RANZCP will provide within its Annual Report, relevant information relating to the business relationship between the RANZCP and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The RANZCP will record financial information arising from its engagement with the pharmaceutical industry.

Principle 3

Research funding obtained from the pharmaceutical industry by the RANZCP must be untied with no industry influence or control.

Intent: To ensure that all research undertaken by the RANZCP is independent of the pharmaceutical company that has provided support, and that the methodology, results and conclusions have not been influenced in any way.

  • Research will be undertaken by the RANZCP, either directly, or under its auspices. Any support received will be declared as required and managed by a common RANZCP fund for research (for example, the Research and Education Foundation).
  • If funding is received, the RANZCP will retain control of how funding from the pharmaceutical industry is utilised and ensure that the title, educational and/or scientific content, and the results of any research, are independently managed.

Principle 4

RANZCP approved or endorsed training must not be funded or influenced by the pharmaceutical industry either directly or by third parties.

Intent: To ensure that the RANZCP’s Fellowship training and Advanced Certificate programs remain independent and are free from influence from the pharmaceutical industry.

  • It is not permissible for the pharmaceutical industry to directly or indirectly influence the RANZCP Fellowship training program or any associated RANZCP materials.
  • RANZCP-managed general educational activities which trainees would attend or benefit from (for example Congress, research grants) may receive support from the pharmaceutical industry. However, the RANZCP will retain control over the content of the educational activity and comply with all other principles as outlined in this document.

Principle 5

RANZCP approved, accredited or endorsed CPD materials must be controlled and decided by the RANZCP and must not be influenced by the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly, either in their inception or implementation.

Intent: To ensure that the content of all CPD materials developed by the RANZCP are independent of the pharmaceutical company that has provided funding.

  • The RANZCP may receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry to support the publication or distribution of CPD materials. However, such funding can only be received into a RANZCP managed fund and control of the content must be retained by the RANZCP.

Principle 5a

The content of RANZCP approved, accredited or endorsed CPD events must be controlled and decided by the RANZCP and must not be influenced by the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly, either in their inception or implementation.

Intent: To ensure that the content of all CPD events organised by the RANZCP are independent of the pharmaceutical company that has provided funding.

  • CPD events managed by the RANZCP or held at Branch level, or under the auspices of Faculties and Sections, will retain RANZCP control over the title, educational and/or scientific content of any event, and the level of advertising, notwithstanding any support which may be received by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Responsibility for organising content of the event will be independent. For example, pharmaceutical companies providing funding for events cannot determine the topic or content to be discussed.
  • RANZCP members participating or presenting at RANZCP events should disclose any relevant conflicts of interest.
  • The RANZCP cannot endorse CPD events hosted by the pharmaceutical industry in accordance with the RANZCP’s CPD endorsement policy.

Principle 6

Marketing space purchased by the pharmaceutical industry at Congress, conferences or other events will be positioned to provide members with a choice about whether or not they wish to access this marketing space.

Intent: Marketing (exhibition) space may be made available to the pharmaceutical industry at RANZCP events within the designated exhibition area.

  • Exhibition or marketing space may be purchased by the pharmaceutical industry provided that:
    • All exhibition and marketing will be conducted within the designated exhibition area, and where practicable be segregated from the main event.
    • If catering is provided, this is positioned, where practicable in a designated area and the RANZCP will ensure that members who do not wish to view pharmaceutical advertising are able to access alternate catering which is clearly separate from exhibitors.
  • Exhibition stands are the only RANZCP sanctioned area at events where the pharmaceutical industry can directly promote a particular product.

Principle 6a

Pharmaceutical Industry funding of RANZCP publications will be confined to the sale of advertising space. The scientific content must not be influenced by industry either directly or indirectly.

Intent: Engagement with the pharmaceutical industry in relation to RANZCP publications will be limited to advertisements in RANZCP journals in line with the RANZCP’s advertising guidelines.

  • All advertising must comply with the ‘RANZCP Advertising guidelines for RANZCP journals’.
  • Advertising in RANZCP journals may include direct promotion of a particular product by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Pharmaceutical companies may advertise events in RANZCP publications provided such advertising does not imply RANZCP endorsement of the event (this includes for example, events held at hospitals, universities, journal clubs, etc.). Such advertising may take place as paid advertising clearly separate from RANZCP content.

Principle 7

Pharmaceutical Industry sponsorship of awards, CPD activities, Congress, conferences, events, meetings, and publications, in which money is provided for specific activities in exchange for control of content or naming rights is not allowed.

Intent: Sponsorship of RANZCP activities is allowable provided that the RANZCP retains control over the title, educational and/or scientific content of any event or product. All sponsorship should be to contribute to the general revenue for operating the event or activity rather than for specific activities and, accordingly, named sessions, awards and other activities are not allowed.

Sponsorship (or partnership) packages are allowable to contribute to the general revenue of a RANZCP event or meeting in line with the following:

  • The pharmaceutical industry will have no influence on the educational or scientific content.
  • RANZCP lectures, prizes and fellowships cannot be named after the pharmaceutical industry or individual products.
  • Proportionate and discreet acknowledgement of a pharmaceutical company’s contribution to an event may be given as follows:
    • Acknowledgement of any support may appear in the final program for the relevant RANZCP event.
    • Acknowledgement of support can be displayed before and after the meeting or presentation as a part of an electronic slide show or otherwise. This should not be displayed during presentations, seminars, lectures or other educational activities.
  • Independent events may be hosted by the pharmaceutical industry (for example named breakfast, lunches, dinners) at the same location as a RANZCP event, but must be identified as a non-RANZCP event.
    • All advertising and promotion of events hosted by the pharmaceutical industry will be clearly marked as a non-RANZCP event. Such events will be published in a clearly marked and separate section of the event Handbook and/or RANZCP events listed in the Program.
    • Delegates will be given the opportunity to opt-out of being included in the public list of registrants at the time of registration.

Principle 8

All pharmaceutical industries engaged with the RANZCP must subscribe to the relevant Code of Conduct that governs their industry.

Intent: To ensure that any pharmaceutical company that does engage with the RANZCP acts appropriately and meets the expectations of the industry.

  • The RANZCP will not accept support from a member of the pharmaceutical industry that does not subscribe to the relevant Code of Conduct.

Principle 9

RANZCP statements or guidelines in relation to therapeutic products will take the risks of pharmaceutical industry bias into account and take all necessary actions to minimise it.

Intent: To ensure that all statements and guidelines developed by the RANZCP are not influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.

  • The RANZCP will manage the development of all statements and guidelines (including the topic, title, educational and/or scientific content) separately from any support received by the pharmaceutical industry. Any funding will be contributed via a common RANZCP managed fund.
  • RANZCP members involved in the development of good practice, or consensus statements such as clinical guidelines, including consumer and carer guidelines with the RANZCP, must declare any conflicts of interest. This includes any personal interest or association with the pharmaceutical industry relevant to the subject of the publication or article.

Associated Documents

Responsible committee: Committee of Professional Practice

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, London. Relationships with pharmaceutical and other commercial organisations.


Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general guidance to practitioners, and should not be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the merits of each case and the needs of the patient. The RANZCP endeavours to ensure that information is accurate and current at the time of preparation, but takes no responsibility for matters arising from changed circumstances, information or material that may have become subsequently available.