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Sunshine Policies and Murky Shadows in Europe: Disclosure of Pharmaceutical Industry Payments to Health Professionals in Nine European Countries

Fabbri, Alice; Santos, Ancel.la; Mezinska, Signe; Mulinari, Shai LU and Mintzes , Barbara (2018) In International Journal of Health Policy and Management 7(6). p.504-509
Abstract (Swedish)
Relationships between health professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can unduly influence clinical practice. These relationships are the focus of global transparency efforts, including in Europe. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of the transparency provisions implemented by February 2017 in nine European Union countries concerning payments to health professionals, with duplicate independent coding of all data. Using an author-generated, semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information from each disclosure policy/code on: target industries, categories of healthcare professionals covered, scope of payments included, location and searchability of the disclosed data. Our analysis shows that although important... (More)
Relationships between health professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can unduly influence clinical practice. These relationships are the focus of global transparency efforts, including in Europe. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of the transparency provisions implemented by February 2017 in nine European Union countries concerning payments to health professionals, with duplicate independent coding of all data. Using an author-generated, semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information from each disclosure policy/code on: target industries, categories of healthcare professionals covered, scope of payments included, location and searchability of the disclosed data. Our analysis shows that although important improvements have been put in place in the past few years, significant gaps remain in disclosure requirements and their implementation. The situation differs substantially from country to country and the most striking differences are between governmental and self-regulatory approaches, especially with regard to the comprehensiveness of the disclosed data. In many cases, individuals can still opt out and reporting is incomplete, with common influential gifts such as food and drink excluded. Finally, in several countries data are only available as separate PDFs from companies, thus making the payment reports difficult to access and analyse. In order to overcome these gaps, minimum standards for disclosures should be implemented across Europe. All payments to healthcare professionals and organizations should be included, all health-related industries should be required to submit reports, and usability of disclosed data should be guaranteed.
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Abstract
Relationships between health professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can unduly influence clinical practice. These relationships are the focus of global transparency efforts, including in Europe. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of the transparency provisions implemented by February 2017 in nine European Union (EU) countries concerning payments to health professionals, with duplicate independent coding of all data. Using an author-generated, semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information from each disclosure policy/code on: target industries, categories of healthcare professionals covered, scope of payments included, location and searchability of the disclosed data. Our analysis shows that although important... (More)
Relationships between health professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can unduly influence clinical practice. These relationships are the focus of global transparency efforts, including in Europe. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of the transparency provisions implemented by February 2017 in nine European Union (EU) countries concerning payments to health professionals, with duplicate independent coding of all data. Using an author-generated, semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information from each disclosure policy/code on: target industries, categories of healthcare professionals covered, scope of payments included, location and searchability of the disclosed data. Our analysis shows that although important improvements have been put in place in the past few years, significant gaps remain in disclosure requirements and their implementation. The situation differs substantially from country to country and the most striking differences are between governmental and self-regulatory approaches, especially with regard to the comprehensiveness of the disclosed data. In many cases, individuals can still opt out and reporting is incomplete, with common influential gifts such as food and drink excluded. Finally, in several countries data are only available as separate PDFs from companies, thus making the payment reports difficult to access and analyse. In order to overcome these gaps, minimum standards for disclosures should be implemented across Europe. All payments to healthcare professionals and organizations should be included, all health-related industries should be required to submit reports, and usability of disclosed data should be guaranteed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
transparency, Pharmaceutical Industry, Conflict of Interest, Industry Relationships, Disclosure
in
International Journal of Health Policy and Management
volume
7
issue
6
pages
6 pages
publisher
Journal Management System
external identifiers
  • scopus:85046872880
ISSN
2322-5939
DOI
10.15171/ijhpm.2018.20
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ef4c9a00-5a8e-4940-b8bd-403ff747ce1c
alternative location
http://www.ijhpm.com/article_3478_42b67f8786717279e5af1c6634471cac.pdf
date added to LUP
2018-02-27 09:22:37
date last changed
2018-06-01 04:30:00
@article{ef4c9a00-5a8e-4940-b8bd-403ff747ce1c,
  abstract     = {Relationships between health professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can unduly influence clinical practice. These relationships are the focus of global transparency efforts, including in Europe. We conducted a descriptive content analysis of the transparency provisions implemented by February 2017 in nine European Union (EU) countries concerning payments to health professionals, with duplicate independent coding of all data. Using an author-generated, semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information from each disclosure policy/code on: target industries, categories of healthcare professionals covered, scope of payments included, location and searchability of the disclosed data. Our analysis shows that although important improvements have been put in place in the past few years, significant gaps remain in disclosure requirements and their implementation. The situation differs substantially from country to country and the most striking differences are between governmental and self-regulatory approaches, especially with regard to the comprehensiveness of the disclosed data. In many cases, individuals can still opt out and reporting is incomplete, with common influential gifts such as food and drink excluded. Finally, in several countries data are only available as separate PDFs from companies, thus making the payment reports difficult to access and analyse. In order to overcome these gaps, minimum standards for disclosures should be implemented across Europe. All payments to healthcare professionals and organizations should be included, all health-related industries should be required to submit reports, and usability of disclosed data should be guaranteed.},
  author       = {Fabbri, Alice and Santos, Ancel.la and Mezinska, Signe and Mulinari, Shai and Mintzes , Barbara},
  issn         = {2322-5939},
  keyword      = {transparency,Pharmaceutical Industry,Conflict of Interest,Industry Relationships,Disclosure},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {504--509},
  publisher    = {Journal Management System},
  series       = {International Journal of Health Policy and Management},
  title        = {Sunshine Policies and Murky Shadows in Europe: Disclosure of Pharmaceutical Industry Payments to Health Professionals in Nine European Countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.15171/ijhpm.2018.20},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2018},
}