Patient organisations are groups that work to improve the quality of life for people with a particular disease or medical condition. They provide support services and information to patients, carers and their families and they put people in touch with other people facing similar experiences.
Most people know someone who has turned to a patient organisation at some point in their life. Patient organisations may also campaign for better standards of care and access to treatments for the patients they represent.
We think it is important to provide financial support to these organisations to help them provide these support services. We also provide funding to patient organisations when we collaborate or partner with them on specific projects where there is a shared area of interest. Patient organisations also want and need to know about new medicines that might benefit the patients they represent. If they ask us for this information we are happy to provide it within the regulatory constraints we face.
From our perspective, working with patient organisations gives us a better understanding of patient needs and this can help us provide better patient information or disease management programmes.
Our dialogue and work with patient organisations is respectful of their independence and credibility. We never make payments in order to influence prescribing behaviour.
As a member of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), we are required to declare a list of patient organisations to which we provide financial support and/or significant non-financial support, including a description of the nature of the support and its monetary value. For significant non-financial support which cannot be assigned a meaningful monetary value, we are required to describe clearly the non-monetary value that the organisation receives.
We are also required to provide a list of patient organisations which we have engaged to provide significant contracted services, including a description of the nature of the services provided.
Additionally, we disclose the payment of expenses relating to accommodation (both in the UK and abroad) and travel outside the UK incurred by patient organisations in the course of their interaction with Pfizer.
Our disclosure of expenses payments for patient organisations includes both out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed to patient groups, and expenses paid in advance by Pfizer.
In providing funding to patient groups, Pfizer’s guiding principle is to ensure that the organisation’s independence is not compromised and there is no dependency on funding we provide. That is why we’ve provided an approximate percentage of each organisation’s revenue that is represented by our funding.
In some cases, where an organisation is either new or has a small income, the percentage of funding provided by Pfizer will be higher. Where this is the case, we encourage the organisation to seek and secure other sources of sustainable funding in line with the guidelines outlined in the ABPI Code of Practice.
Click here to see our involvement with patient organisations during the financial year, which ran from December 2010 to November 2011.