Partnerships necessary to drive medical innovation

Medical advancements continue at a rapid pace, and pharmaceutical innovations have been pivotal to the improvement and saving of lives.

However, the sustained advances in healthcare can happen only with ever-ongoing partnerships between the medical community, industry, government stakeholders and, indeed, patients and their caregivers (Relationship between private doctors and drug firms a conflict of interest, by Mr Edmund Khoo Kim Hock; May 17).

Hence, interactions are inevitable and necessary.

In this rapidly evolving environment, we need to work together to ensure that medicines achieve the intended healthcare outcomes, while retaining the prescribers' and dispensers' independence.

The public needs to have confidence that their healthcare professionals are acting in their best interests.

The Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (Sapi) sets standards for which scientific updates, necessary to keep pace with advances, are delivered with the highest ethical standards.

Interactions between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals should be transparent and focused on driving optimum patient care.

The Sapi Code of Conduct is regularly updated, in consultation with the medical community and government agencies, to ensure the impartiality of prescribing doctors is not compromised.

Sapi members are in the process of implementing new sponsorship guidelines which are in line with Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines.

The new Sapi code, together with the latest SMC code and guidelines, will assure Singaporeans even more that their healthcare providers, the industry and the government agencies place their well-being at the heart of what we collectively do.

Christina Teo Yen Sim (Ms)

Executive Director

Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'Partnerships necessary to drive medical innovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe