Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Judging the benefits and harms of medicines

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 30 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j3129

Rapid Response:

Are the public being listened to?

We could not agree more with Dr Tom Robinson in that we can only gain the trust of the public if we listen to them (1). One of us (Dr Peter J Gordon) raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament to consider a Sunshine Act for Scotland, and as part of this a consultation was undertaken with the Scottish public (2). The majority of those consulted agreed that it should be mandatory for all financial conflicts of interest to be declared on a public register. The Academy of Medical Sciences has gone no further than recommending the development of "frameworks for declaring and managing interests" (3). We would suggest that this will do nothing to restore the public's trust.


Competing interests: Dr Peter J Gordon raised a petition with the Scottish parliament to consider introducing a Sunshine Act for Scotland:

05 July 2017
P.J. & S.F. Gordon
Psychiatrist for Older Adults and General Practitioner
Bridge of Allan