Patients, Healthcare Professionals and the Research-based Pharmaceutical Industry Align on Ethical Collaboration

Posted on June 10, 2016

Ottawa, June 10, 2016 – On the heels of an international initiative to create a multi-stakeholder platform outlining the shared principles that should guide the conduct of actors in the health care sector, leading Canadian health organizations have created a set of ethical standards to guide collaboration among patients, health care professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Canadian Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration is endorsed by the Best Medicines Coalition, Health Charities Coalition of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Innovative Medicines Canada. The organizations are committed to ensuring that the relationships between patients, health care professionals and the pharmaceutical sector are based on ethical and responsible decisions.

The Framework provides guidance on activities like clinical trials, continuing health education, conferences, accountability and funding, and sets out four overarching principles:

  • Ensures patients’ best interests are at the core of activities;
  • Promotes transparent and accountable conduct;
  • Sets clear rules on gifts, funding and conferences, continuing health education and clinical research; and
  • Guides national ethical leadership.

Although the Framework is not meant to replace any organization’s code or principles for ethics and integrity, it aims to enhance credibility, increase public confidence and create an environment for authentic discussions focused on improving patient outcomes.

The Framework is a living document others working in the patient community, life sciences sector and health care delivery are welcome to endorse it.


“For patient groups, achieving better health outcomes is our ultimate goal and one which is shared with our health care professional and pharmaceutical industry partners. These guidelines ensure that all interactions are ethical, transparent and accountable.”
-Paulette Eddy, Executive Director, Best Medicines Coalition

“While each profession adheres to its own ethical code of conduct, the development of this framework is an important step in providing a baseline to guide ethical collaborations between various stakeholders that puts patients’ interests’ first.”
-Rick Blickstead, Chair, Health Charities Coalition of Canada

“The Canadian Medical Association welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners on this consensus framework. Physicians value openness and transparency and are committed to ensuring that all relationships ultimately serve the needs of their patients.”
-Dr. Jeff Blackmer, Vice-President, Canadian Medical Association

“The Canadian Nurses Association is pleased to endorse the Canadian Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration initially developed by the International Council of Nurses and its partners. This framework is focused on ensuring the highest ethical standards to guide collaboration among patients, health care professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.”
-Anne Sutherland Boal, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Nurses Association

“The development of a common Canadian framework is a significant step forward to enhancing transparency and ensuring that the best interests of patients are at the foundation of our collaborative efforts.”
-Perry Eisenschmid, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Pharmacists Association

“Ultimately, we can build trust and promote transparency by starting what we have in common – where everyone is comfortable – and developing standards that allow us all to build relationships that are mutually beneficial. Only through real collaboration can we ensure patients have the best possible health outcomes.”
-Russell Williams, President, Innovative Medicines Canada

About the Best Medicines Coalition

The Best Medicines Coalition (BMC) is a national alliance of Canadian patient organizations with a shared vision of equitable and consistent access to safe and effective drugs which improve patient outcomes. Areas of interest span from drug approval and reimbursement through patient safety and supply concerns. As an important aspect of its work, the Best Medicines Coalition strives to ensure that Canadian patients have a voice and are meaningful participants in health policy development, specifically regarding pharmaceutical care. Formed in 2002 as a grassroots alliance of patient advocates, the BMC is a not for profit organization.

About the Health Charities Coalition of Canada

Established in 2000, the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC), a member based organization, is dedicated to advocating for sound public policy on health issues and promoting the highest quality health research. HCCC strives for excellence in health policy and seeks to ensure that the federal government and policy makers look to the Coalition and its members for timely advice and leadership on major health issues of concern to Canadians; and that they recognize the competence, commitment and contributions of health charities in improving the health and well-being of Canadians.

About the Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 83,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.

About the Canadian Nurses Association

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice representing nearly 139,000 registered nurses in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.

About the international Consensus framework for ethical collaboration

In January 2014, five global health care organizations established a Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration to support partnerships that aim to deliver greater patient benefits and support high quality patient care. The five organizations are the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), and the World Medical Association (WMA).

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Juha, Best Medicines Coalition, 416-622-3893,

Helena Towle, Health Charities Coalition of Canada, 613-232-7266, Cell: 613-914-3848,

Sarah Turnbull, Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Canadian Medical Association, 613-731-8610 ext. 2005, Cell: 613-266-6572,

Siobhan Williams, Manager, Marketing and Member Services, Canadian Nurses Association, 613-237-2159 ext. 544,

Mark McCondach, Director of Communications, Canadian Pharmacists Association, 613-523-7877 ext. 285, Cell: 613-266-6572,

Heather Brennae, Communications, Innovative Medicines Canada, 613-236-0455 ext. 527,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *