Amid ongoing controversy over the fees pharmaceutical companies pay doctors,
10 Canadian-based firms have agreed to divulge how much cash they hand over to physicians and health organizations every year.
They say the voluntary program should make the financial ties between pharma and medicine more visible – and help “neutralize” charges of conflict of interest.
The firms plan to start publishing statistics on their overall payments to health professionals next year, though will stop short of releasing figures for individual physicians, as now required in the United States.
“To us, building trust is fundamental – to actually meet or exceed society’s expectations,” said Paul Lirette, president of GlaxoSmithKline Canada (GSK). “Transparency is the way to go for us to build trust.”
The program – kickstarted by GSK — has been endorsed by Innovative Medicines Canada, the pharmaceutical sector’s trade association, and Lirette said he expected other companies would join in future.
The participants, all branches of multinational corporations, include Abbvie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Purdue and Roche.
To read the article by Tom Blackwell