National Health Council Statement on NEJM Conflict of Interest Article

Washington, DC (March 1, 2017) - The National Health Council released a statement to the New York Times, addressing the New England Journal of Medicine's (NEJM) Conflict of Interest article.

The following statement is from NHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Boutin:

"Patient advocacy organizations exist to improve the lives of patients with chronic diseases and disabilities. Our member patient advocacy organizations must adhere to a set of 38 Standards of Excellence. Over the past year, the National Health Council took steps that address many of the article’s authors’ recommendations by updating the Standards to increase organizational public accountability and transparency. Of the 38 Standards, 16 ensure autonomy from the support they receive from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, including disclosure of financial support and corporate relations, conflict-of-interest, and gift-acceptance policies. Patient advocacy organizations are driven by their missions – putting patients first. To say otherwise, negates the extraordinary work achieved by these organizations on behalf of their patients."

Founded in 1920, the NHC is the only organization that brings together all segments of the health community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Made up of more than 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, the NHC's core membership includes the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance and policy-making process. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and representatives from the pharmaceutical, generic drug, insurance, medical device, and biotechnology industries.