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Database reveals pharma payments to nurses

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The pharmaceutical industry has launched a database outlining payments to healthcare professionals.

For the first time, details of payments or benefits made to individual nurses, doctors and pharmacists, as well as other health professionals and healthcare organisations have been published on a publicly accessible database.

“It is extremely important that there is proper transparency”

Sharmila Nebrajani

The Disclosure UK database, available to download on the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s website, shows industry investment from 109 pharmaceutical companies in the UK.

It shows that in 2015, the pharma industry invested a total of £340.3m on working with health professionals and organisations of which £229.3m (67%) is in research and development activities.

The remaining £111m (33%) of non-research and development activities is grouped into payments and benefits in kind made to healthcare organisations and individual healthcare professionals.

Payments and benefits in kind to healthcare organisations include joint working (£3.3m or 1% of total investment), contribution to the cost of events (£30.3m or 8.9% of total investment) and donations and grants (£30.3m or 8.9% of total investment).

Companies invested an estimated average of £1,550 per healthcare professional and around £9,506 per healthcare organisation.

Individual recipients of the above payments and benefits can be searched on the database by a number of criteria including the name of the individual nurse, doctor, pharmacist, healthcare professional or organisation and their professional address.


Database reveals pharma payments to nurses

Mike Thompson

ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said: “This is a milestone moment for our industry and for the vital relationships we have with health professionals and organisations across the UK.

“Getting advice from doctors, nurses and health professionals across the NHS helps us do this – we can’t do it alone,” he said. “We believe it’s fair we pay for that expertise and insight, as this is work which health professionals undertake often in addition to their day job in the NHS.

“We’re committed to transparency – we believe it’s right that the public has the opportunity to see what we invest in our work with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and organisations to ensure life-enhancing medicines are developed for the patients who need them,” he added.

Sharmila Nebrajani, director of external affairs at the Medical Research Council, said: “We actively encourage researchers to partner with industry because it increases the value of our funding, ensures industry has access to high quality science and accelerates the speed at which findings can reach patients.


Database reveals pharma payments to nurses

Sharmila Nebrajani

“But the possibility of ‘funder bias’ should always be taken into account and so it is extremely important that there is proper transparency around how these collaborations operate,” she said. “We require researchers we fund to be explicit about the source of all funding they receive.

“The ABPI’s database is a very welcome initiative as it will aid scrutiny of the science emerging from these vital partnerships with industry,” she added.

The publication of the data is now an annual requirement of the ABPI’s Code of Practice for the UK Pharmaceutical Industry.

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