Intended for healthcare professionals

Disclosure UK

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.

Summary of data included in the database

infographic showing that of the £364m total payments, £254m was research funding, £46m was fees for service and consultancy, £31.5m was contributions to costs of events, £29.5m was donations and grants to healthcare organisations, and £3.2m was for joint working.

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.

infographic showing that 70% of healthcare professionals have given permission to release named data, but this is only 48% of the total value of payments.

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.

infographic showing that most of the named payments went to doctors (£19.0m of £24.5m), rather than Nurses (£2.6m), Pharmacists (£0.7m) and others (£2.2m). The top five specialties (Oncology, Haematology, Pneumology, Diabetes and General Medicine) received more than a third of this total.

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

Infographics designed by Will Stahl-Timmins: @will_s_t
Data used for infographics was provided by the EBM Data Lab at Oxford University, and is available here.

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