Europe's drugmakers have published their code designed to give more transparency to the sector's financial relationships with doctors.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations has released its "disclosure code of transfers of value to healthcare professionals and organisations". It states that all members of EFPIA have to disclose payments in 2016 regarding all transfers in 2015.
The code will require each member company to document and disclose on their websites, or common websites, the names of healthcare professionals and associations that have received payments or similar. They will also have to publish the amounts paid, and the type of relationship, such as consultancy fees, payment for travel or congress fees.
EFPIA said that "we understand the need to provide a well-managed framework for collaboration for these relations to be as transparent as possible", adding that this "requires a well-regulated, ongoing scientific dialogue in both directions". It notes that partnerships between doctors and industry "are subject to stringent legislation and require that all parties respect high ethical standards" and the new code "will enhance transparency around these relationships".
Richard Bergstrom, EFPIA director-general, claimed that "this is an important step for our industry, as we demonstrate our commitment to transparency and secure the trust of the patients our industry serves". He added that the code is "EFPIA’s delivery on the guiding principles set forth last autumn, in which we committed to working together with relevant stakeholders to establish a clear approach to transparency of financial transactions and other declarations of interest".
Publication of the EFPIA code comes as the pharmaceutical industry in the USA braces itself for the so-called Sunshine Act, which comes into force in the next few months, forcing companies to disclose all of their payments to doctors.