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GP's study predicts contract will hit morale

NICE is in discussions with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry over ways of improving implementation of its guidance.

The move follows the decision by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network to formally collaborate with the ABPI on the implementation of its osteoporosis advice.

The GPC condemned the association, saying 'any formal link could be misconstrued' and expressing concern at the growing links between guidance committees and the pharmaceutical industry.

SIGN's collaboration with the ABPI is the first of its kind and involves joint websites, conferences and workshops.

NICE has not yet discussed 'guideline-specific' issues and admitted firms would work harder to implement guidance when their own products were recommended. But it plans to consider applications to collaborate on implementation 'on a case-by-case basis'.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC prescribing sub-committee member, called such collaborations 'inappropriate' and said: 'It is important for SIGN and NICE to be seen to be truly independent of industry.'

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