Society has a right to expect that those who administer healthcare conform to the highest principles of ethical conduct and behaviour in their dealings with patients and those who care for them.
Defining these ethical standards across a broad range of cultural, religious and ethical communities has been a challenge to those organisations who operate globally, not least the international research-based pharmaceutical industry.
During the latter part of the 20th century, we witnessed the establishment of codes of practice for widely different activities such as the use of animals in medical research, the conduct of volunteer studies, clinical trials and the promotion of medicines. These codes of practice have established yardsticks against which to judge the quality of performance of healthcare professionals and the organisations in which they are employed; whether academic, industrial or government.
Across these various fields of pharmaceutical ethics, there has been a recurring dilemma as to how to establish objective, informed and intelligent debate and procedures of review between what inevitably is a very disparate community of concern. Ensuring that the voices that are heard in the discussions on pharmaceutical ethics are representative of the “stakeholders” will remain the subject of discussion; not least in the changing world of medical sciences that the revolution in genomics and proteomics will bring. Advances in biological, medical and life sciences and especially those relating to the application of stem cells, pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics has, necessarily, raised entirely new issues in pharmaceutical ethics.
This book is a timely collation of the current state of wisdom in this important field which will be of relevance not only to those who research