Moving ahead with transparency: Welcoming EFPIA’s disclosure code

Working in the pharmaceutical industry, you get used to being labeled as one of the bad guys. In the past years, the industry has been working to clarify its image, by increasing transparency and promoting better understanding of its work. Change is never easy — and in my industry, in many ways a conservative one, it can be a great challenge to move ahead. So I think it’s essential to champion any progress – like today, as EFPIA announces the release of its disclosure code on financial relations with healthcare professionals.

The EFPIA Board formally adopted the code on 24 June, during EFPIA’s Annual General Meetings. With the adoption of this Code, EFPIA is following through on its promise to improve transparency in our industry, as we set forth in last Autumn’s guiding principles. The code requires all members of EFPIA to disclose transfers of value to HCP’s and HCO’s. Each of EFPIA’s member companies will document on a public platform – their website or a common website – names of healthcare professionals and associations that have received payments or transfers of, as well as the amounts of value transferred and the type of relationship (travel payment, fees for congress participation, etc.).

This code will be implemented in 2016, at which point the transfers of the previous year will be disclosed. Gathering this data and disseminating it in the most efficient way possible is a collaborative effort and takes time. We developed the timeframe of implementation with an eye on ensuring all member companies can follow suit in developing the necessary framework on time.I invite other members of the pharmaceutical industry to make similar commitments and join EFPIA and its member companies in advancing transparency. This is a big step for an industry that has in the past been hesitant to change its ways. We are moving ahead – and need to continue to do so. By promoting openness as an industry, we can improve our relationships with healthcare practitioners, healthcare organisations and the patients we are all committed to serving.

More information on the EFPIA Code here.

Richard Bergström

Richard Bergström was appointed as Director General of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and...
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