This week the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) launched its long awaited database of payments to doctors. This is a useful step towards greater transparency and public accountability, but it serves mainly to show just how far we have yet to go.
An editorial by Kate Adlington and Fiona Godlee says that this database is just the start on the way towards transparency.
Ben Goldacre, academic lead at the Evidence Based Medicine DataLab at the University of Oxford, who has been working with The BMJ to analyse the data, has criticised the website for its partial attempt at transparency.
The data show that health professionals who are paid the most by UK drug companies for providing time and advice are the least likely to have voluntarily declared the payments. Nigel Hawkes reports.
The doctors who declared the most earnings from drug companies in the new database have said that being transparent about payments should be mandatory, reports Duncan Jarvies.
In her latest column, BMJ columnist, Margaret McCartney, argues that optional disclosure of payments is pointless. And as Ingrid Torjesen reports, the UK General Medical Council has admitted that it does not have the legal power to force doctors to disclose details of payments and benefits they receive from the pharmaceutical industry