Pharma industry representatives say that the majority of healthcare professionals are still in support of its drive for greater transparency, backing the notion of payment declarations.
In a poll of more than 500 UK healthcare workers carried out for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, 87 percent believe payments from pharma companies to individually named healthcare professionals should be transparent, with around two thirds (64 percent) saying that this information should be publicly declared.
However, a significant chunk - 26 percent - felt disclosure of payments to individually named HCPs is unnecessary, and 24 percent feared the move would adversely affect medical innovation, while 26 percent also felt their relationships with pharma companies would change as a result.
The ABPI is just weeks away from publishing details of payments and benefits in kind made to UK HCPs and healthcare organisations on an online, publicly searchable database under its drive to improve transparency and trust in the industry.
"The relationships that the pharmaceutical industry has with healthcare professionals is vital for the development of new medicines and improved, effective patient care," said Dr Virginia Acha, executive director of Research, Medical and Innovation at the ABPI.
"But transparency about these relationships - how we work together, what we do and what we are able to achieve in advancing clinical practice and medical innovation through collaboration - is important for patients and wider society," she stressed.
Nevertheless, while being largely supportive of the move, 69 percent of respondents did express concerns about the process. The biggest concern is potential misrepresentation of data (49 percent), closely followed by possible negative perceptions among the public (44 percent), data protection (43 percent) and potential media coverage (35 percent).