The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that patients in Scotland receive medicines of established cost-effectiveness and therapeutic value.The government also recognises that effective joint-working amongst all  the stakeholders involved in contributing to the care of patients is essential to the provision of quality health care. A Common Understanding (2003) aimed to define a productive relationship between NHS Scotland and the pharmaceutical industry, by setting out the principles by which appropriate joint-working could be achieved.  

A Common Understanding 2012 (by better defining an agreed framework for cooperation between NHS Scotland and the pharmaceutical industry) aims to assist NHS staff to achieve the best joint-working outcomes. It also encourages all parties to be confident that application of these guidelines will ensure that collaboration forms part of a robust, transparent and outcome-focused approach creating substantial benefits for NHS patients.