Ethical advice regarding the relationship between psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry
background The pharmaceutical industry is an important partner in mental health care.
aim To provide ethical advice that will help psychiatrists build a balanced relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.
method In this article we present the current advisory principles that have been developed by the Flemish Psychiatric Association (Vlaamse Vereniging voor Psychiatrie; vvp).
results Not only do we give general advice that is relevant for all psychiatrists, but we also give advice that is applicable specifically to the psychiatrist-researcher, teachers and psychiatric trainees. Finally, we explain more fully how the vvp, as an organisation, deals with these issues.
conclusion It is important that the psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry deal with each other in a balanced and constructive manner, thereby stimulating progress in the field of psychiatry. For this purpose the vvp has formulated a number of ethical principles which, in our view, define the way in which psychiatrists should deal with the pharmaceutical industry.