Intended for healthcare professionals

Commercial influence in health: from transparency to independence

Growing evidence shows that extensive financial relationships between industry and healthcare decision makers distort scientific research, medical education and the practice of medicine. The biggest problem is that industry sponsored studies produce more favourable results creating biased evidence that overplays benefits and downplays harms. In response, many individuals and groups around the world are moving towards independence from commercial interests in research, education, practice and policy. This BMJ collection charts and encourages that move.

This BMJ collection contains original research and analysis about the impacts of financial conflicts of interest across research, education, practice and policy, and about the global moves to freedom from commercial influence. The aim of the collection is to encourage the production and use of more trustworthy evidence, and tackle the current epidemic of medical excess. As part of the collection, The BMJ invites you to support these moves to independence, offer suggestions for strategies, and express your interest in being involved in the development of more detailed recommendations for change.

Our call for submissions is now closed but The BMJ remains interested in publishing further content around this topic.

Ray Moynihan, Helen Macdonald, Lisa Bero & Fiona Godlee

Watch Fiona Godlee being interviewed about commercial influences in health on New Zealand TV.

Please sign our call to action - your opportunity to support greater independence from commercial interests in healthcare and share your thoughts and ideas about how this can be achieved. Read more about the call to action here and see who has signed it so far here.


Commercial interests, transparency, and independence
Ray Moynihan, Helen Macdonald, Carl Heneghan, Lisa Bero & Fiona Godlee

Declaring interests and restoring trust in medicine
Carl Heneghan & Margaret McCartney

Industry influence in indoor tanning research
Jerod Stapleton & Joel Hillhouse

Financial relations between leaders of US medical societies and industry
Jake Checketts & Matt Vassar

Commercial influence and covid-19
Ray Moynihan, Helen Macdonald, Lisa Bero & Fiona Godlee


Pathways to Independence: towards producing and using trustworthy evidence
Ray Moynihan, Per Vandvik, Beate Wieseler, et al.

Improving researchers’ conflict of interest declarations
Quinn Grundy, Adam G Dunn & Lisa Bero

Achieving greater independence from commercial influence in research
Joel Lexchin, Lisa Bero, Courtney Davis, & Marc-Andre Gagnon


Influence and management of conflicts of interest in randomised clinical trials
Lasse Østengaard, Andreas Lundh, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen et al

“Asset exchange”—interactions between patient groups and pharmaceutical industry
Lisa Parker, Alice Fabbri, Quinn Grundy, Barbara Mintzes & Lisa Bero

Effect of revealing authors’ conflicts of interests in peer review: randomized controlled trial
Leslie John, George Loewenstein, Andrew Marder & Michael Callaham

Association between gifts from pharmaceutical companies to French general practitioners and their drug prescribing patterns in 2016: retrospective study using the French Transparency in Healthcare and National Health Data System databases
Bruno Goupil, Frédéric Balusson, Florian Naudet, et al.

Association between financial links to indoor tanning industry and conclusions of published studies on indoor tanning: systematic review
Lola Adekunle, Rebecca Chen, Lily Morrison, et al.

Mixed methods evaluation of workshops for citizen health advocates about financial conflicts of interests in healthcare
Ray Moynihan, Alice Fabbri, Lisa Parker & Lisa Bero

Financial ties between leaders of influential US professional medical associations and industry: cross sectional study
Ray Moynihan, Loai Albarqouni, Conrad Nangla, Adam Dunn, Joel Lexchin, & Lisa Bero

Mechanisms for addressing and managing the influence of corporations on public health policy, research and practice: a scoping review
Melissa Mialon, Stefanie Vandevijvere, Angela Carriedo-Lutzenkirchen, et al.

Voluntary disclosures of payments from pharmaceutical companies to healthcare professionals in Germany: a descriptive study of disclosures in 2015 and 2016
Marlene Stoll, Lara Hubenschmid, Cora Koch & Klaus Lieb


I’m more susceptible to drug company money that I’d like to be
Lisa Parker

Cochrane announces a new, more rigorous “conflict of interest” policy
Karla Soares-Weiser

The sun is shining on the South: advocacy and regulation of conflicts of interest in Chile
Bernardo Aguilera, Juan Carlos Almonte & Rodrigo Irarrázaval

Can expert bias be reduced in medical guidelines?
Sheldon Greenfield

The world’s most influential medical leaders are still dining on pharma’s pizza
Ray Moynihan

Conflict of interest in medicine: how medical students can become catalysts for change
Alice Fabbri

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