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Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

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Subject: Pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom, Bad Pharma, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Chemical Industries Association, Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme
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Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Abbreviation APBI
Formation 1891
Legal status Industry trade group
Purpose Pharmaceutical industry trade organisation
  • ABPI Head Office, 7th floor, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London
Region served
Pharmaceutical manufacturers
Chief Executive
Stephen Whitehead
Website ABPI

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is the trade association for over 120 companies in the UK producing prescription medicines for humans. This is the British equivalent of America's PhRMA, however the member companies research, develop, manufacture and supply 80% of the medicines prescribed through the National Health Service.


The organisation was founded in London in 1891. It was originally known as the Drug Club. A rival institution to represent wholesalers, the Northern Wholesale Druggists' Association, was formed in 1902; it lasted until 1966.

Management and offices

A board of management of members oversee the ABPI. The Board is made up of individuals who are elected by members to represent the industry; and up to five people who are co-opted by the Board. Elections commence every January for elected seats to ensure that the Board is fully representative and has access to the broadest range of skills and expertise possible.

As of 2014, the Association's research director was Bina Rawal.[1]

ABPI's head office is in London and there are three regional offices in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh.


Members of the ABPI fall into three categories:

  • Full members who hold marketing authorisation for, manufacture or supply prescription medicine for human use and undertake business in the UK
  • Research affiliate members who carry out business in the UK and are involved in research and/or development of medicines for human use but do not have a UK sales operation, for example Contract Development Organisations
  • General affiliate members who operate in the UK, have an interest in the industry and will typically provide products or services to the industry (although not producing prescription medicines), for example law firms

ABPI membership is not open to individuals, only companies.


The ABPI represents the views of the pharmaceutical industry to government and decision makers in the UK.

The organisation has six departments:

  • Commercial
  • Communications
  • Legal
  • Membership Services
  • NHS Partnerships
  • Research, Medical and Innovation

The medical and innovation department oversees complimentary resources for schools in UK to promote links between school science subjects and their applications in industrial research. The department also runs a careers website. The association also sponsors booklets on a range of conditions, aimed at patients, carers and healthcare professionals.

In addition, the association has lobbied for the UK government to adopt the European Union directive on biotechnology research.

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice of the ABPI covers the promotion of medicines for prescribing to health professionals and administrative staff as well as the provision of information to the public about prescription only medicines in the UK and is administered by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA). All ABPI member companies are obliged to comply with both the spirit and letter of the Code.

The Code, first published in 1958, undergoes revisions at least every two years.

See also


  1. ^

External links

  • Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Website
  • ABPI Resources for Schools Website
  • ABPI Careers in the Pharmaceutical Industry Website
  • Profile of ABPI on Corporate Watch Website
News items
  • Stephen Whitehead appointed new Chief Executive of ABPI
  • ABPI and Teenage Cancer Trust CEOs in Keynote Debate at Patient Summit 2012
  • "Dr Ben Goldacre vs the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry", New Statesman, 19 October 2012.
Video clips
  • ABPI YouTube channel
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