Working together for better health outcomes

November 27, 2005

In what is believed to be a world first, a Guide launched today by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, will help ensure a more open approach between health consumer organisations and pharmaceutical companies embarking on relationships.

Health consumer organisations and the pharmaceutical industry have worked together in a variety of ways for many years to address the needs of health consumers. However, the number and complexity of these relationships has increased, and those involved have begun to seek advice and guidance on how best to work together.

The 'Working Together' Guide and Supplementary Materials, which has been jointly developed by the peak health consumer body, the Consumers' Health Forum of Australia, and pharmaceutical industry body, Medicines Australia, is designed as a reference tool offering basic principles and suggestions that can be adapted to suit the individual needs of organisations.

Executive Director of the Consumers' Health Forum of Australia, Helen Hopkins, said: "There has been a need to clarify how health consumer organisations and pharmaceutical companies could work constructively together.

"The joint development of this Guide is a positive step towards clarifying the basic principles that need to be considered in working together, so that agreed goals are met."

Kieran Schneemann, Chief Executive Officer of Medicines Australia, believes the Guidelines are a welcome resource for all involved.

"We work in an increasingly complex environment. While it is recognised that these relationships are not for every organisation or project, it is our hope that this resource will help deliver a more robust, transparent and mutually beneficial alliance between the groups, resulting in better health outcomes for all Australians," he said.

To guarantee the relevance and usability of the resources, a wide range of representatives from both health consumer organisations and the pharmaceutical industry were consulted during their development and the process was managed by a joint steering committee.
-end-
Funding of the Guidelines and accompanying materials was provided by Amgen Australia Pty Ltd, AstraZeneca Pty Ltd, Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia Pty Ltd, Eli Lilly Australia Pty Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Australia, Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd, Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited, Novartis Australia Pty Ltd, Pfizer Australia, Roche Products Pty Ltd and Wyeth Australia Pty Ltd.

For further information please contact:
Helen Hopkins, Consumers' Health Forum of Australia, Mob: +61 412 065 957
Kieran Schneemann, Medicines Australia, Tel: +61 262 826 888

Research Australia

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