Letters Drug company suspension

Self regulation is an oxymoron

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4049 (Published 26 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4049
  1. P J Gordon, psychiatrist for older adults,
  2. S F Gordon, general practitioner
  1. 1Bridge of Allan, UK
  1. pgsg{at}bridgeofallan.plus.com

Braillon and colleagues summarise perfectly the current situation regarding partnership working with industry.1

On 1 July 2016 the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry published its voluntary register. The Telegraph reported that “Up to half of medics and other health service staff working for pharmaceutical companies alongside their day jobs have refused permission for their names to be included in a new online database.”

The Scottish parliament commissioned a consultation with the Scottish public on the need for a Sunshine Act. Most of those consulted considered that financial declarations had to be mandatory.

NHS England has set up a task and finish group to set rules to manage conflicts of interest. It’s not clear whether these rules will be voluntary or mandatory.

It will be interesting to see what progress is made over the months ahead, but it’s worth noting that other countries have moved on from voluntary to mandatory requirements because the former have been ineffective.



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