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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR148. Good Psychiatric Practice: Relationships with Pharmaceutical and Other Commercial Organisations

Price: £0.00

Approved: Jan 2008

Published: May 2008

Status: current

Number of pages: 24

Review by: 2011

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This report is available online-only. There are no print copies to buy.


The College recognises the important and valid contribution made by pharmaceutical companies and other commercial organisations to patient care, to research and to education. The assumption that commercial sponsorship is necessary or inevitable, however, should always be examined critically. The decision to accept sponsorship should only be taken after considering alternatives, such as securing alternative funding sources or reducing the level of industry-sponsored educational events.


This document provides guidance on the boundaries of good practice by examining relationships with pharmaceutical and other commercial organisations for the following three areas:

  • Individual psychiatrists
  • Research undertaken by psychiatrists
  • College activities.

The discussion for each area is divided into: purpose, principles, guidance and specific recommendations.


Among others, issues addressed by the report include: the register of members’ competing interests, company-organised meetings, gifts, hospitality, sponsored meeting attendance, research funding, consultancy work, educational grants and prizes.


There are two useful appendices:

  • Appendix 1: Guidance on the production of College newsletters.
  • Appendix 2: Notes on completion of the declaration of competing interests and a sample ‘Declaration of competing interests form’.

This document replaces CR117: Good Psychiatric Practice: Interim guidance on the relationship between psychiatrists and commercial sponsors and the sponsorship of College activities (online-only) from 2003.


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