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Plan to force drug companies in France to reveal payments to doctors has been diluted, campaigners say

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8405 (Published 12 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8405
  1. Paul Benkimoun
  1. 1Paris

A new draft of the French government’s “sunshine act,” designed to show how much drug companies pay doctors, has watered down the original proposals, critics say.

They object to the fact that drug companies would not have to declare any payments done for work undertaken, only for unconditional gifts; that they would not have to publicise the payments on their own websites; that they would not have to declare any payments under €60 (£75; $95); and that they would have to ensure that doctors’ names were not indexed, to prevent search engines discovering whether a doctor had received payments from several companies.

The groups objecting to the changes made by the Socialist government span the political spectrum. They also include the independent pharmaceutical journal Prescrire and the medical association Formindep, which has been campaigning for all continuing medical education to be made independent of the drugs industry. At the more conservative end of the spectrum is the Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins (CNOM), the regulator of the medical profession.

In December 2011 the French parliament adopted a bill setting strict rules on drug regulation, in the …

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