Monthly Archives: March 2016

The pig got up, and slowly walked away

A man is known by the company he keeps.

Most of us will have been told that at some stage in our lives as a warning against mixing with “the wrong sort”.

Recent press stories – written, apparently, by journalists who think that collecting public and properly-made declarations of interest constitutes investigative journalism – have made some non-pharmacist managers concerned about joint working. This has led to oddities being reported to us like a head of medicines management who says she has been told to continue joint working but without meeting the industry partners.

We want to be transparent. On our website we have our Charter. For our major events we produce transparency statements describing how they are funded and by whom. But, most pertinently in respect of this reaction, there is also a document for senior NHS managers on Transparency and Governance in the NHS that is designed to explain the safeguards in the way we work that can give non-pharmacists assurance that they will not be embarrassed by working with us. Please share it with anyone who needs to see it. You can find it at

The title of this blog, incidentally, comes from a poem I learned when I was young.

One evening in October
When I was about one-third sober
And was taking home a load with manly pride
My poor feet began to stutter
So I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side

Then we sang “It’s All Fair Weather”
And “Good Fellows Get Together”
Till a lady passing by was heard to say
“You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses”
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.