Intended for healthcare professionals


A sunshine payment act for the UK

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 30 July 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1900
  1. Sonia Macleod, lead researcher
  1. Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, UK
  1. sonia.macleod{at}

Legal requirement for openness and transparency cannot wait

On 8 July 2020, First Do No Harm—the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Julia Cumberlege—made nine core recommendations to improve patient safety and support women harmed by pelvic mesh, valproate use during pregnancy, or hormone pregnancy tests.1 The eighth recommendation concerned transparency about payments made by the drug and medical device industries. It contained two elements. The first is a centralised register for doctors’ interests and specialties. The second is a requirement for manufacturers to publish details of payments they make to teaching hospitals, research institutions, and individual clinicians, similar to the American Physician Sunshine Payment Act. This act compels pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to declare transfers of value (including expenses) to physicians or teaching hospitals. Various European countries also have sunshine payment acts in force. One year on from First Do No Harm, the British government has accepted a similar requirement in principle.

Current scheme

The government response states that it is …

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