Liaison between public hospital staff and the pharmaceutical industry: guidance from the NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group

Diana H Shipp and Gordon Mallarkey
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02485.x
Published online: 20 April 2009

A key issue is to recognise when a duality of interest has become a conflict of interest

In Australia, provision of specialised product information and promotion by the pharmaceutical industry of drugs approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration is an integral part of the health care environment. The pharmaceutical industry provides information and training to health professionals about new products; funding for conferences; support for professional and social activities secondary to medical education; support for the conduct of research and information about its outcomes; and opportunities to meet with peers. However, the primary goals of the pharmaceutical industry and health professionals differ: the pharmaceutical industry has a financial responsibility to shareholders, while health professionals have a moral responsibility to their patients. The challenge for both is to manage their responsibilities when interacting with one another.

  • Diana H Shipp1
  • Gordon Mallarkey2

  • New South Wales Therapeutic Advisory Group, Sydney, NSW.



We would like to thank the following for their review of the position statement: Professor Paul Komesaroff, Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society at Monash University, and Ethics Convener of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; and Dr David Newby, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, University of Newcastle, and member of the Editorial Committee of NSW TAG.


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