Reputation – HCPs: ABPI Code of Practice and Disclosure UK

Read more about how healthcare professionals view the relationship between pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare sector

HCPs continue to agree that the ABPI Code of Practice helps pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK act according to the highest ethical standards

The ABPI Code of Practice sets out the requirements the industry must comply with and supports companies’ commitment to self-regulation and to operating in a professional, ethical and transparent manner.

The ABPI Code of Practice sets out the requirements the industry must comply with and supports companies’ commitment to self-regulation and to operate in a professional, ethical and transparent manner. Nurse Prescriber

Awareness of the Code among HCPs has not changed significantly since measurement began in 2020: 57% currently feel familiar with it.

Those familiar with the Code have a highly positive opinion of it. Eight in ten see it as relevant and over seven in ten regard it as useful. It is increasingly regarded as easy to understand. Almost seven in ten HCPs agree the Code demonstrates the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry to engaging in responsible relationships, to ensuring that transparency is respected.  Two in three see the code as credible and just under two in three agree that it supports HCPs.

The ABPI Disclosure UK Database is still less known by HCPs. Those who have disclosed recognise reasons why peers may not and cite perceived barriers to transparency

I've heard of it, but I've not regularly or actively used it. Obviously when we submit papers to journals, you'll obviously have a Disclosure's proforma such that any potential conflicts of interest be that patent or things like that or funding. Secondary care

The Disclosure UK database was created by the ABPI to make the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and HCPs  or healthcare organisations (HCOs) open and transparent to the public. As in November 2021, two in five HCPs say they know the Disclosure UK Database at least a little, but over one in four have never heard of it.

Among those who are familiar with the database, over one in ten gave permission to disclose payments or benefits as part of the initiative. Of these, concerns about privacy, the views of peers or perceptions among patients, as well as a limited knowledge of Disclosure UK are seen as the main reasons that other HCPs may not disclose payments. As in 2021, suggestions to encourage more HCPs to disclose payments include improving awareness, knowledge and understanding of the database and tackling perceived stigma about receiving payments.

Feedback in the qualitative research with HCPs suggested that any move to mandated disclosure would generally not change HCPs’ views on working with pharmaceutical companies; they see this as an essential collaboration. They felt that a system where everyone was required to disclose would be fairer for all concerned.

Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023