EFPIA statement in response to The Times article on disclosure

EFPIA notes, this morning’s article in The (UK) Times on the transfers of value received by healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organisations (HCOs) across Europe from the pharmaceutical industry. 

EFPIA, its member companies and associations have led the way in bringing greater transparency to these, already well-regulated and vital relationships. Mandated through the EFPIA Disclosure code, covering activities such as research and educational grants to healthcare organisations as well as transfers of value to individuals for activities such as speaking at educational meetings, consultancy and attending advisory boards as well as sponsorship to attend educational meetings, the disclosures have been made publicly available since 2016 for payments made in 2015 onwards.

Scientific exchange between industry and the medical community is vital for advancement of patient care. It is a relationship that has delivered numerous innovative medicines and changed the way many diseases impact on our lives.  Interactions between industry and HCPs are a vital tool in enabling the development and effective use of new medicines through sharing best clinical practice, exchanging information on how new medicines fit into the patient pathway and shaping the future of clinical research.

EFPIA and its members believe that a more open, transparent relationship is in the best interests of patients, healthcare professionals and systems.

As the article notes, European data privacy legislation enables individual HCPs to withhold their consent for companies to publish details of payments and benefits in kind. Where this happens companies are required by the Code to publish the transfers of value in aggregate, together with the number of health professionals that withheld consent. EFPIA and its members are committed to encouraging HCPs to give consent to disclose.

This is only the second year of public disclosures. It’s a significant development in the relationship between industry and HCPs.  Industry is committed to working with all stakeholders in healthcare to ensure the value of the relationship and the benefits of greater transparency are understood.

Our hope is that more and more health professionals will grant their consent to disclose payment information, recognising that increasing transparency benefits everyone, including individual healthcare professionals. Transparency builds understanding of this important collaboration and addresses directly any public concerns about interactions between the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry