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Doctors face compulsory system to declare gifts and hospitality from drug companies

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4617 (Published 26 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4617
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Doctors will be forced to declare any gifts or trips they have received from drug companies from next year, under new government plans.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said that he plans to extend the existing rules and regulations over gifts and hospitality in connection with the promotion of medicines to anyone able to supply or prescribe them.

The government intends to introduce a new “sunshine rule”—which refers to shining a light on, or transparency over, doctors’ dealings with the drug and medical device industries next year. The new rule means that NHS staff found to be abusing their position by taking extravagant gifts or hospitality and lobbying for unnecessary or overly expensive medicines or procedures would face serious action.

NHS organisations will have to maintain a hospitality register where staff must declare gifts and hospitality that they receive from drug companies and medical device manufacturers. It will be the responsibility of NHS organisations, such as hospitals and clinical commissioning groups, …

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