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Nine in 10 professional organisations say doctors should have to register their financial interests

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n933 (Published 08 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n933
  1. Abi Rimmer, careers editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. arimmer{at}bmj.com

Nearly 90% of organisations representing doctors agree that the UK should have a mandatory and public register of doctors’ interests, a survey by The BMJ has found.

Last year the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Julia Cumberlege, called for the General Medical Council (GMC) to expand its register to include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all doctors.1

That review investigated harmful side effects caused by the hormone pregnancy test Primodos, the anti-epileptic drug sodium valproate, and surgical mesh. One of its key conclusions was that patients had a right to know if their doctor had financial or other links with pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

The BMJ wrote to six faculties, 14 royal medical colleges, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges about such a register. It received responses from two faculties, 12 colleges, and the academy, a 71% response rate.

Of the organisations that responded, 13 (87%) agreed that there should be a mandatory and public register of doctors’ interests in the UK. The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine also agreed with the proposal but only if substantial investments were declared and the cost …

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