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Patient groups fail to declare financial interests during NICE assessments

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 16 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l217

Linked research

Financial interests of patient organisations contributing to technology assessment at England’s NICE

  1. Harriet Pike
  1. Cambridge

Patients’ groups involved in assessing treatments for the NHS often fail to disclose their financial interests, a review published in The BMJ shows.1

More than two thirds of patient groups involved in NICE technology appraisals received funding from the manufacturer of the treatment being assessed or from a competitor, the review found. NICE decision makers were not aware of most of these competing interests.

Researchers led by Kate Mandeville at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine assessed 53 patient organisations that contributed to 41 NICE technology appraisals published in 2015 and 2016. Drug industry funding was determined from manufacturers’ disclosures and from patient organisations’ accounts, annual reports, websites, declarations of interests, and responses.

Patient organisations contributed to the appraisal of a technology on 117 separate occasions. The researchers found that 38 of 53 patient organisations (72%) had received funding from the manufacturer of a technology or competitor product in the same or preceding year that the group contributed to the appraisal of that technology. NICE’s committees were aware of less …

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