The light of day is the best disinfectant

In 1891, Louis Brandeis, who later served as judge on the US Supreme Court, wrote: “If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects”. He later expressed this idea as “the light of day is the best disinfectant”. Today is the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day and I would like to share with you what EFPIA and its members are doing to promote good governance. Following the philosophy of Brandeis, we are on a path to increased transparency.

Last year EFPIA and its US sister association PhRMA agreed to enhance the sharing of clinical data with researchers and the general public. This is being implemented, and there are already platforms up and running, for instance via the Yale School of Medicine’s Open Data Access (YODA) Project or, a multi-company portal for clinical trial data sharing.

The next step is to disclose all financial relationships with health care professionals (HCPs). All my members have committed to this “Sunshine” project. Data on all transfers of value to European health care professionals and health care organisations will be collected in 2015 and disclosed, at the individual level, in early 2016 (see here for more details). This will allow the general public to see how the “innovation system” works: how companies and professionals work closely together to develop new medicines, and how to use the medicines better so that patients get what they need.

Richard Bergström

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