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Statement on commercial funding

The National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN) seeks to work in collaboration with any organisation who shares its aims of improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with lung cancer or mesothelioma. This includes commercial companies and government as well as other professional societies / charities. The NLCFN key consideration in any collaboration is ensuring that its independence is not in any way compromised and it is free to act in the best interests of its members and what it considers to be in the best interests of patients with lung cancer and/or their carers.

The NLCFN recognises the very significant influence, through innovation in technology and investment in marketing and education that the pharmaceutical and legal industry has on the delivery of healthcare in the lung cancer and mesothelioma field. Through collaboration with pharmaceutical and legal companies, NLCFN is able to gain access to expertise and resources to promote the Forum and support its charitable priorities that it would otherwise not have access to.

The financial support provided by NLCFN sponsors and corporate members for the activities of the Forum allows the NLCFN to make its services either freely available or at greatly reduced rates to its members. In addition, by working in partnership with companies to support the development of pharmaceutical industry education programmes, NLCFN is able to influence the content of such programmes by providing clinical input, and independent review / scrutiny. The NLCFN will only endorse / put its name to programmes where it has driven and approved the content and where it believes it is securing a good return on its investment in terms of income / fees for professional services, marketing opportunities and charitable impact.

NLCFN members are only able to pay limited annual subscriptions, the total of which is insufficient to support the activities of the organisation. Public fundraising is not a realistic source of funding for NLCFN whose immediate beneficiaries are healthcare professionals and not directly members of the public. NLCFN is consequently reliant on the pharmaceutical and legal industry for a significant proportion of its income. Funding is secured from each of the major companies in the lung cancer market and no single company provides more than 20% total funding. This ensures there is no bias to any particular company.

Written agreements are in place for all funding received from the pharmaceutical industry. The sources of funding are declared and made transparent on the NLCFN website and on all relevant materials.

NLCFN recognises its credibility and independence as its greatest assets both in terms of its ability to influence and to secure support. It recognises the potential conflicts that its reliance upon pharmaceutical industry brings. The NLCFN has rigorous governance processes in place to ensure it operates independently and is not unduly influenced by any third party body. This includes policies on management conflict of interest, endorsement and commercial partnerships. The trustee board operates at arm’s length from NLCFN sponsors and has no direct contact with them. The large majority of the Trustees has no interest in the pharmaceutical industry. The Trustee Board is responsible for overseeing the activities of the Society, ensuring proper procedures and policies are in place to manage resources effectively to deliver charitable outcomes and to protect the independence and reputation of the Forum.