What can be learnt from the new pharmaceutical industry payment disclosures?
This project investigates the relationship between the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry in today’s healthcare system.
Relationships between the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry are a key area of controversy in today’s healthcare. While it is commonly recognised that collaboration between the two groups is vital for advancing drug innovation and treatment, doctors’ overly close, 'unhealthy’ dealings with the industry may bias their clinical decisions, research and advice to public authorities.
However, disclosing and managing these relationships remains a significant challenge, raising a number of policy dilemmas. This project takes up, therefore, two fundamental questions:
- what is the overall pattern of medical-industry financial ties?
- what is the nature, strengths and weaknesses of recent initiatives said to considerably enhance the transparency in medical-industry relations?
Gaining unprecedented insight
This project will use Social Networks Analysis and other statistical methods to provide unprecedented insight into previously unrealised large-scale patterns of medical-industry ties based on newly released data on pharmaceutical company payments to healthcare professionals and organisations.
We will also investigate the development and implementation of novel payment disclosure policies by combing analysis of stakeholder interviews, policy documents and survey data.
The project compares medical-industry financial ties and their disclosure across the EU and in particular in four countries with varying healthcare systems; Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland.
Benefits of the research
The project findings will benefit scholars in medical sociology, policy studies and public health. We will present work in progress at national and international conferences. We will publish at least five open access articles in top quartile journals.
The research will benefit:
- civil servants
- expert advisors
- medical professionals’ organisations
- the pharmaceutical industry
- patient advocacy groups
- transparency watchdogs
- think tanks at national and EU levels
The benefits will include enhanced understanding of medical-industry relationships and ways of optimising their governance.
- Exposing drug industry funding of UK patient organisations
- Analysis of Pharmaceutical Industry Payments to UK Health Care Organizations in 2015
- Evaluating the transparency of pharmaceutical company disclosure of payments to patient organisations in the UK
- The whistleblowing drama behind Astellas’s suspension from the ABPI
- Disclosure of payments by pharmaceutical companies to healthcare professionals in the UK: analysis of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's Disclosure UK database, 2015 and 2016 cohorts
- Sunshine policies and murky shadows in Europe: Disclosure of pharmaceutical industry payments to health professionals in nine European countries
- Interview contribution to The pharma deals that CCGs fail to declare
- Blog post: Revealing the extent of pharmaceutical industry funding of patient organisations in the UK
- TV interview: Pharmaceutical companies 'should publicly disclose all payments', experts say
- Dr Shai Mulinari, Lund University
- Dr Piotr Ozieranski, University of Bath
- Professor Lawrence King, University of Massachusetts
This project is funded by FORTE - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.