Working with the pharmaceutical industry position statement

Alzheimer's Research UK has a proud history, playing a pivotal role in building the dementia research ecosystem. This includes constructive partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry.

We believe that by working together we can deliver significant benefits for people affected by Alzheimer's disease and dementia, speed up progress in clinical trials and the development of new treatments. This statement sets out our policy on working with the pharmaceutical industry.

Independence, integrity, and transparency

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), our relationships with the pharmaceutical industry are subject to clear guidelines for joint working to ensure independence, integrity, and transparency.

We have no preference for working with a specific company, and welcome funding from multiple companies where practical and appropriate. We will not accept support from any company that is attempting to influence the charity's policy or direction, or through association with the charity, seeks to influence policy makers for commercial advantage. We are driven by our charitable purpose: to deliver life changing treatments for dementia. We will only seek and accept support from industry partners that are a strategic fit and complement our Research Strategy.

We will work with the pharmaceutical industry in a number of ways (current work outlined below) including informing stakeholders on our insights through our work. This work could also involve asking difficult questions about pricing and access to new medicines, or even campaigning against a company's position regardless of whether they are currently or have historically provided funding to Alzheimer's Research UK.

The pharmaceutical industry is bound by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice which sets out operational guidance for conducting themselves in a professional, ethical, and transparent manner. It governs how they work with patient organisations like Alzheimer's Research UK, for example, contracted services, donations, grants. sponsorship of
events and materials. The ABPI also publish an annual disclosure setting out all of these financial relationships with patient organisations.

We also publish a full breakdown of restricted funding received from industry partners in our annual report.

Current partnerships with industry

Alzheimer's Research UK works with the pharmaceutical industry in the following ways:

  1. Co-funding strategic projects

    Innovative partnerships like the Dementia Discovery Fund, the Drug Discovery Alliance and the Dementia Consortium, working with academia and the pharmaceutical industry are integral to our mission to bring about life changing treatments for dementia.
    We will develop strategic partnerships, accept funding for, or co-fund, projects that deliver our charitable purpose in line with our Research Strategy, where we have the independence to significantly influence the project, and/or have the final decision on scope and direction. This allows us to deliver projects we would not have the resources or ability to deliver alone.

  2. Providing or receiving advice

    From time to time we are asked to provide advice to the industry, and we ask them to provide us with advice. This can either be scientific advice, advice on the policy landscape, healthcare environment or the views of people affected by dementia.
    We make decisions about these opportunities on a case-by-case basis. We engage where we believe we can shape thinking and action for the benefit of people affected by dementia. To avoid any doubt about the independence of our advice, Alzheimer's Research UK does not accept consultancy fees.
    From time to time, we may invite stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to advise Alzheimer's Research UK on specific projects, for example, the Board of our EDoN initiative has representatives from the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry. Their insights and expertise are used to inform our work alongside others in academia and NHS.

  3. Providing information or presenting at events

    Occasionally representatives of Alzheimer's Research UK are invited to give presentations at conferences and events that are sponsored by industry. Often these are opportunities to reach a wider audience with important messages about dementia and our work. We maintain editorial control - we do not allow the sponsors influence over the content of the presentations. We do not accept payments for our time to prepare and present at these events but may sometimes accept a contribution to overseas travel and accommodation costs.

  4. Sponsorship of Alzheimer's Research UK events

    We accept sponsorship from the pharmaceutical industry for events for example. The Alzheimer's Research UK Research Conference as this gives us the opportunity to increase our reach and impact. Sponsoring organisations may have their brand on materials and delegates attend the event, but rules set out in the ABPI Code of Practice mean sponsors do not have any deciding influence over the conference programme or organisation of the event.

Updated: June 2022
To be reviewed: June 2024