Following the acquisition of Vectura in October 2021 by the Philip Morris Industry (PMI) it has become necessary for ARNS to voice their position in regard to the impact on the organisation and future relationships.
ARNS condemns the involvement of the tobacco industry within the organisation. This includes opposing any healthcare organisation with funding or formal/informal ties to the tobacco industry. ARNS strongly advocate that the tobacco industry must have no opportunity to influence, make profit from or be involved in the delivery of UK respiratory healthcare.
Any tobacco company, or company owned by the tobacco industry will not be approved for participation at any ARNS meetings or conferences or be eligible for partnership agreements or joint working. ARNS appreciates that there may be instances of an organisation being linked to a tobacco company without intent through a third-party agreement. Where this occurs, the chair and vice chair of the organisation will assess the circumstances of each case individually. It is expected that they will need to demonstrate that they have exhausted all avenues of terminating their agreements and reassure the Board that contracts, with involvement with the tobacco industry, will not be renewed.
Due to the nature of the organisation, any board or sub-committee member will not be permitted to undertake educational events with companies directly owned by a tobacco company and are strongly encouraged to carefully consider undertaking any educational events with a company with a third-party agreement.
ARNS is also aware that patients may have concerns using inhalers that will contribute financially to the tobacco industry. ARNS would encourage any prescriber to openly discuss any concerns and consider alternative options. However, ARNS believes that safety for patients is paramount and they should choose the most appropriate inhaled therapy for the individual.
NICE decision aid for inhalers
UKIG inhaler selection guidance
NICE Public Health Guidance (PH45 2013) – Tobacco Harm Reduction