Working with the Pharmaceutical Industry


The purpose of this page is to set down and make clear the position of the Trustees and the Management of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) in regard to any working relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

The aim of NRAS is to work to achieve a better life for people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and JIA Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. NRAS recognises that working with pharmaceutical companies which manufacture drugs to treat these diseases can help us to achieve this aim.

It can be helpful to work with the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and market medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and/or Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). These partnerships give NRAS important and necessary background information and provide us with further opportunities to raise awareness of these conditions and the need to improve the quality of care for people RA and people living with JIA, including access to services and medicines.

As a charity, NRAS has to raise funds on a continual basis in order to exist and execute our charitable functions and we therefore receive funding from a variety of sources, which includes pharmaceutical companies. This can be in the form of sponsorship or educational grants or funding for particular activities undertaken by NRAS.

NRAS receives funding from pharmaceutical companies in two ways: for specific projects, and as core funding (corporate membership) to help provide support for all those who live with RA and JIA. In either case, NRAS will exercise its independent judgement over whether to accept or decline an offer of funding.

NRAS also contributes to advisory boards, pharmaceutical staff training and providing expert consultation services all of which are charged at the going market rate in recognition of our expertise in the field of RA and JIA.

Public concern about commercial interests influencing voluntary organisations in a negative way have to be taken seriously and therefore a code of practice which makes any such relationships clear and transparent is necessary.

NRAS has always worked to the highest ethical standards and wishes its financial funding arrangements with the pharmaceutical industry to be clearly defined, recorded and transparent.

NRAS views its relationships with the pharmaceutical industry as a two-way process. We view positively opportunities for NRAS to raise awareness of RA and JIA amongst pharmaceutical industry staff and projects where our expertise and knowledge may be harnessed to improve patient information and education materials and services being produced by industry, to the ultimate benefit of people living with RA and JIA.

NRAS is a totally independent organisation and no relationship will be entered into which could in any way jeopardise or compromise that independence.

It is standard policy not to promote, endorse or approve any particular product, service or brand whether this comes from the pharmaceutical industry or any other commercial industry sector.

NRAS will only ever undertake projects which could benefit those affected by RA or JIA, directly or indirectly, or add value to the information, education and support it provides to those affected by these diseases.

NRAS will reject funding or sponsorship or any relationship which might be perceived to damage its reputation, independence or charitable status.

When collaborating on ‘content’ whether it is a written communication, publication or digital information for web or social media, complete editorial control will remain with NRAS.

NRAS will not allow the good name it has built up to be compromised in any way.

NRAS will maintain good working relationships with the pharmaceutical industry which benefit and are in the best interests of those affected by RA and/or JIA.

Trustees, officers, staff and anyone operating on behalf of NRAS will be expected to adhere to the policy and NRAS will make this policy available to any organisations it works with on joint projects to inform and guide these relationships.

Where NRAS elects to work with a pharmaceutical company in relation to a specific project, the charity will acknowledge this publicly through openly declaring commercial sponsorship of a project where relevant in any media or PR work.

NRAS will also carry the sponsor’s logo on all written communications associated with that project.

NRAS will publish a summary of its financial contributions from pharmaceutical companies in its annual report in line with Charity Commission accounting procedures.

NRAS will only work with a pharmaceutical company where it can ensure compliance with the ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Where a company is not a member we will require written assurances of compliance with these principles.

NRAS will ensure that no project sponsor has an undue influence over the charity in relation to the objectives or outcomes of any project.

Wherever possible NRAS funding requests are sought from a number of companies and NRAS will negotiate with all its sponsors on an equal basis to ensure no individual company is treated differently from any other in regard to funding of any particular project.

We will ensure that total income from pharmaceutical funded projects will not exceed 25% of our total income and does not exceed 10% from any one company in one year.

Funding can be directly paid to NRAS to cover the cost of a particular project, contribute to core costs, or be paid as an educational grant. Services provided in kind to the charity at a cost to the pharmaceutical company can also be provided where no direct funding is received by NRAS. Whilst we cannot influence the exact value ascribed to such activities by a pharmaceutical company we would expect it to be a fair and an accurate reflection of the cost of such work but this does not automatically mean that NRAS ascribe the same ‘value’. Where NRAS staff are asked to speak or attend a particular meeting or advisory board and receive an honorarium for doing so, all such honoraria are passed back to NRAS and no member of NRAS staff will benefit personally. Any such honoraria or reimbursement of travel expenses are excluded from the total project funding in any one calendar year.

NRAS would like to thank the following companies for supporting the work of NRAS during 2023 and acknowledge financial payment of any consultancy work provided by NRAS to the work undertaken by industry partners.

Company NameProject Name/Reason for FundingMonthAmountBeneficiaryTotal 2023 Funding (ex VAT)

AbbVie LtdNRAS attendance at Advisory Board MeetingFeb£560AbbVie
Core FundingJul£10,000NRAS
NRAS attendance at Advisory Board MeetingDec£510AbbVie
Biogen Idec LimitedPublication Funding for print and distribution of ‘I Want to Work’Sep£10,000NRAS
Corporate MembershipSep£12,000NRAS
Eli Lilly and Company LimitedNRAS CEO presentation at nurse training eventNov£990Eli Lilly
Fresenius Kabi LimitedPro-bono training (5 x remote sessions delivered to NRAS staff at a total of 9 hours – not invoiced)N/AN/ANRAS
Corporate MembershipDec£12,000NRAS
Galapagos Biotech LimitedSponsorship to cover some costs of attending BSR conferenceMar£2,000NRAS
People’s Priority Magazine insert in NRAS NewsRheum MagazineMar£500Co-beneficiaries
Corporate MembershipApr£12,000NRAS
Inmedix Inc.NRAS Stress Matters project Jun£11,317.33NRAS£11,317.33
Medac Pharma LLPSponsorship to cover some costs of attending BSR conferenceFeb£2,000NRAS
Selfie Frame for BSR conferenceMay£538NRAS
NRAS support on Injectable Project Focus GroupsNov£3,495Medac
Reprint of 2,000 Blood Matters bookletsApr£2,285NRAS
Pfizer LimitedPatient recruitment for projectFeb£162Pfizer£162
Sandoz LimitedNRAS attendance at Patient Advocacy Group EventSep£487.50Sandoz
Publication Funding for print and distribution of ‘Employers’ Guide to RA’Nov£10,000NRAS
UCB Pharma LtdCorporate MembershipJun£12,000NRAS£12,000
Total funding received from the pharmaceutical industry in 2023: £102,844.83