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We are very interested in the debate recently published in Archives regarding the relationships between paediatricians and infant formula milk companies.1,2 In 1998 our Association, whose main aims are providing continuing medical education, promoting primary care research, and protecting children, launched an initiative to develop a code on competing interests.3 This was based on the principles of the code of the International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association and the international code for the marketing of breast milk substitutes. The code was intended as a list of recommendations for members without any intention to punish violations. Since then our Journal (Quaderni Acp) and our National Congress have been free from sponsorship by infant formula milk companies.
We think that the relationship with manufacturers must obviously continue, but it must be based on the ethical principles of transparency and independence, keeping in mind that the most important beneficiary is the patient.
Competing interests: none declared
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