The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that patients in Scotland receive medicines of established cost-effectiveness and therapeutic value. Medicines are an integral part of all aspects of clinical care provided in NHSScotland. The Scottish Government also recognises that effective joint-working amongst all of the stakeholders involved in contributing to the care of patients is essential to the provision of quality health care.
The original Common Understanding document was the first of its kind to be produced in the United Kingdom. A Common Understanding (2003) aimed to define a productive relationship between NHSScotland and the pharmaceutical industry, by setting out the principles by which appropriate joint-working could be achieved.
A Common Understanding 2012 – by better defining an agreed framework for cooperation between NHSScotland and the pharmaceutical industry – aims to assist NHS staff to achieve the best joint-working outcomes. The document also encourages all parties to be confident that the application of these guidelines will ensure that collaboration forms part of a robust, transparent and outcome-focused approach that will undoubtedly create substantial benefits for NHS patients.