The majority of doctors, nurses, hospital specialists and pharmacists believe that payments received by healthcare professionals (HCPs) from pharmaceutical companies should be transparent, according to a survey by leading research consultancy ComRes.
According to the poll of more than 500 HCPs, carried out on behalf of the ABPI, 87% of those questioned agree that payments from pharmaceutical companies to individually named healthcare professionals should be transparent. Seven out of ten (69%*) with a current relationship with one or more pharmaceutical companies say that they have given or are likely to give permission for pharmaceutical companies they work with to disclose their payment information.
The survey results come as pharmaceutical companies prepare to disclose details of payments and other transfers of value they have made to individual HCPs and healthcare organisations (HCOs) during 2015 on a publicly accessible, searchable database hosted on the ABPI's website in June 2016. The industry-led disclosure initiative is part of a Europe-wide programme to further improve transparency regarding the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs and HCOs.
Dr Virginia Acha, Executive Director Research, Medical and Innovation at the ABPI said: "Our collaboration as the biopharmaceutical industry with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare specialists enables us to research, develop and deliver medicines that make a difference for patients. Without the insights from and dialogue with those on the frontline of patient care, we lack the feedback on how medicines are working in practice and where further innovation is needed. In return healthcare professionals working with industry benefit from learning more about the latest medicines and treatment options as well as the opportunity to advance the development of medicines for the future.
"In any other industry, it is expected – and even applauded – when innovators work with users of their products and services to make progress. We believe this is also true for medicines. We are proud of the high-quality working relationships we have with HCPs in the UK. However, it is important to make sure these relationships are transparent. Since 2012 we have been publishing the annual total amount paid to UK HCPs – this project is another step on our journey towards greater transparency which will allow patients and others to fully understand our relationships. It is great to see this survey confirm that healthcare professionals are broadly behind us in this quest for increased openness."
Not everyone agrees – the survey revealed that one third (32%) of those questioned feel it is unnecessary to declare payments from pharmaceutical companies to individually named HCPs, and one quarter (26%) believe that declaring these payments will adversely affect medical innovation, although these are in a minority.
75% of HCPs say that the disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical companies will have no effect on their relationship with pharma companies however; there is disparity between different types of HCPs on this point. One quarter (23%) of GPs say that they will be less likely to work with pharmaceutical companies in the future as a result of the publication of this data – considerably higher than for hospital specialists (17%), pharmacists (10%) or nurses (6%).
The survey also found that HCPs are looking towards their professional association for more information about the disclosure project, with 52 out of 62 (84%*) of those who say they currently have a relationship with one or more pharmaceutical companies agreeing that they would like more information from their professional body, trade body or union about how the disclosure of payment data will affect them. The same proportion (84%*) say they would like more information about this from the pharmaceutical company or companies with whom they work.
The ABPI is working with pharmaceutical companies and is in contact with trade and professional associations to ensure HCPs are fully informed of the project.
For more information on the ABPI's disclosure project visit our Disclosure pages.
*As only a small proportion of the sample of HCPs say they currently have a relationship with one or more pharmaceutical companies, the base size at this question is also small (n=62). These results should therefore be treated with caution and should be considered indicative rather than representative.
About the ABPI
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
ComRes interviewed 507 healthcare professionals in the UK online between 21 May and 8 June 2015. The sample of respondents included healthcare professionals from throughout the UK:
GPs 127 Hospital specialists 127 Pharmacists 125 Nurses 128
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. The full data tables can be downloaded here.
ABPI Press Office Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org