Regulators publish joint statement on conflicts of interest

The General Pharmaceutical Council and the other eight regulators of health and care professionals have signed a joint statement, which sets out what is expected of all healthcare professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all healthcare settings.

The statement is intended to support each regulator’s professional standards, codes and guidance, which the statement says “should be the overriding consideration for professionals.”  
In addition to the joint statement, the regulators have published case studies involving their professionals but which, in principle, are relevant to all the professions.  The case studies illustrate the principles in the statement, and give examples of how health professionals should deal with situations where a conflict of interest might arise.
Among the expectations outlined, the joint statement says healthcare professionals should:
  • Put the interests of people in their care before their own interests or those of any colleague or organisation
  • Consider where potential conflicts of interest may arise and be open about them
  • Be open about, and declare, any conflicts of interest they face 
  • Reflect on their own learning and CPD needs regarding conflicts of interest
  • Ensure patients have access to visible information on any fees or charging policies for which they are responsible 
GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:
“As health and care regulators, we share a commitment to collaborating on issues that affect patient safety and care, and the trust they place in the professionals who provide that care.  By working closely with our fellow regulators,  we are underlining the consistent expectations of health professionals in managing conflicts of interest, to help give patients and the public the assurance that their interests will always be put above any other interest a health professional may have.  
“The joint statement supports the principles and guidance outlined in our standards for pharmacy professionals; and I hope the statement and case studies will provide helpful insight to for our registrants when facing potential conflicts of interest.”