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Our position on working with the pharmaceutical sector

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear principles and guidance about how we work with pharmaceutical companies.

Sophie Kellaway at the University of Birmingham at work


Such partnerships should enable us to achieve the charity’s mission without compromising our integrity. This policy ensures our work with pharmaceutical firms does not affect our ability to offer independent and unbiased patient information, or influence our campaigning, research or fundraising activities.

We recognise that working with pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market drugs and treatments gives us important knowledge and expertise. Such companies are also willing to sponsor and fund certain activities undertaken by Blood Cancer UK.

We will adhere to the following principles when entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical firms and ensure that all partnerships are consistent with our organisational aims.

These are as follows:

  1. All partnerships will be based on the principles of integrity and openness and will bring benefit to people affected by blood cancer through funding and/or through supporting us to achieve our mission and strategic aims.
  2. Any partnership entered into will not compromise our independent status.
  3. We will ensure that our editorial independence is maintained so that we are free to comment both positively and negatively about pharmaceutical companies and their products.
  4. Editorial decisions about the blood cancer information we produce will not be influenced by the acceptance of funding or support from pharmaceutical companies. All information will be based on the latest evidence and informed by healthcare professionals and people affected by blood cancer.
  5. We welcome opportunities to raise funds and awareness through cause related marketing and sponsorship. We recognise that individuals who work for pharmaceutical companies may wish to fundraise for Blood Cancer UK. As above, any such fundraising will not influence our advocacy work or information provided to people living with blood cancer.
  6. We will work with members of the pharmaceutical industry to share knowledge and expertise. This may involve participation in pharmaceutical industry organised events such as private or public meetings, training events, advisory board meetings and market research events.
  7. Blood Cancer UK may help people affected by blood cancer participate in surveys, focus groups or workshops which are organised by pharmaceutical companies. We will only do so when it will bring benefit to people affected by blood cancer and if it is in line with our strategic priorities. We will not accept any form of payment or donation for this. Any financial compensation will be arranged between those taking part in the activity and the company.
  8. There may be occasions where we will campaign for equitable access to a particular treatment. We will not accept funding from a pharmaceutical company where promotion of a specific drug is required or demanded by the company (either explicitly or implicitly).
  9. Any funding or joint activity must be compliant with the conditions of the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Where a company is not a member of the ABPI we will require written assurances that any partnership work or support will be conducted to the ABPI Code of Practice.
  10. We will declare all financial partnerships with pharmaceutical companies on our website at the end of our financial year, including the total amount received from these companies. The total amount we receive from the industry in one year will not exceed 10% of our income. If our income would exceed 10% by agreeing to additional funding from a company or companies, then such a decision would require specific approval from the Chief Executive and the Board of Trustees.

    These principles will be underpinned by appropriate governance, including:
  11. All partnership agreements between pharmaceutical companies and Blood Cancer UK will be approved by the Director of Fundraising (values above £25,000) or the Deputy Director of Fundraising (values up to £25,000) on behalf of the Executive Team, taking advice from the Director of Research, Services & Engagement and the Executive Team where appropriate, particularly where the funding is outside of the planned budget.
  12. Any partnership with a pharmaceutical company that Blood Cancer UK has not worked with before will be subject to due diligence and will be approved by the Director of Fundraising before the first grant is received regardless of the level of funding.

Responsible Director: Director of Research, Services and Engagement
Postholder responsible for document: Deputy Director of Policy, Campaigns and Engagement
Review date: 11/23