The majority of healthcare professionals in the UK support greater transparency on payments received from pharmaceutical companies, but some feel the move could make working with the industry more difficult, a new survey ordered by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has revealed.

Of 500 doctors, nurses, hospital specialists and pharmacists surveyed by research consultancy ComRes for the trade body, 87% agreed that payments from pharma to individually named healthcare professionals should be disclosed, and 69% of those with a current relationship said they have given or are likely to give permission for pharmas to divulge their payment information.

But not everyone agrees - 32% of healthcare professionals surveyed feel the disclosure of individual payments is unnecessary, while 26% believe that doing so will adversely affect medical innovation.

And although 75% of HCPs overall believe this will have no effect on their relationship with pharma firms, a significant number of GPs - 23% - said they will be less likely to work with them in the future because of the publication of this data, a considerably higher proportion than hospital specialists (17%), pharmacists (10%) or nurses (6%). 

The survey results come as pharmaceutical companies gear up to unveil payments and other ‘transfers of value’ made to individual HCPs and healthcare organisations during this year, with details to be held on a publicly accessible database hosted on the ABPI’s website from June 2016. 

In addition to the industry-led move, which comes under a wider drive in Europe to boost transparency, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also making it mandatory for healthcare workers to declare any gifts received from pharmaceutical companies.

As per the new ‘Sunshine rule’, which comes into force next year, NHS staff who fail to disclose perks received from drug companies could face being disciplined, dismissed or even sent to jail for breach of the Bribery Act.