About Transparency International Slovakia
The main goal of this portal is to objectively and clearly inform the public about the relations between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
Aiming to increase transparency, the Slovak Ministry of Health introduced the idea of publishing information about relations between doctors and pharmaceutical companies in 2011. However, the information is diluted into the websites of three different institutions, which disempowers the patient in search of it. Our portal brings forward a unified source of information about the relations between and pharmaceutical companies. The database allows one to look for information by name or the doctor’s workplace, name of the pharmaceutical company, or the nature of collaboration between the doctor and the pharmaceutical company.
We believe that the increased amount of information about interactions between medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies will help increase the public’s trust in both doctors and companies, that it will motivate doctors and pharmaceutical companies to publish information in a higher quality, and that it will also bring attention to the need of a change of the legislation dealing with conflict of interest in healthcare.
This portal is based primarily on open data published by doctors and pharmaceutical companies because of the current legislation. However, the data is in many cases of poor quality, which is why a part of the information was supplemented based on our communication with pharmaceutical companies and state institutions.
The data we’ve worked with is:
- the amount of non-financial and financial income of medical professionals from pharmaceutical companies mandatorily reported by medical professionals to the Ministry of Health,
- lists of participants in expert events abroad mandatorily published by pharmaceutical companies on the website of the National Health Information Center: we have only collected information about the foreign ones, since these are the ones getting the most media attention,
- the National Database of Clinical Trials, created based on mandatory reports of pharmaceutical companies to the State Institute for Drug Control,
- a list of non-interventional studies reported by pharmaceutical companies to the National Health Information Center,
- the register of medicinal products for human use of individual pharmaceutical companies.
The portal contains data about the relations between pharmaceutical companies and doctors for the period December 1, 2011 – April 19, 2013. We aim to update the data regularly.
All the databases can be downloaded here.
The data is not complete and does not reflect possible conflicts of interest of all doctors active in Slovakia. The collected data has several limits:
- only several dozens of doctors fulfil their legal obligation of publishing their incomes from pharmaceutical companies, even though the companies themselves estimate the number of doctors with such incomes to be in the thousands,
- companies and doctors often don’t include all the relevant information about mutual relations in their reports: the company’s name or the doctor’s identification data may be missing as well as the nature of their cooperation,
- companies have the obligation to report which doctors participated in the expert events supported by these; however, this piece of information on its own doesn’t necessarily mean that the company actually sponsored the doctor’s participation in the event,
- the published information is often in bad quality, which prevents the data from being further processed.