Disclosure UK: Further detail for 2019 published
Today, ABPI has published the latest information giving details of ‘transfers of value’ made to healthcare organisations and healthcare professionals by pharmaceutical companies
70% of the total was spent on research and development*
Of the remaining 30% non-R&D* spend, 86.4% is disclosed against a named person or organisation
An estimated 55.9% of healthcare professionals agreed to publish details about their non-R&D work with pharmaceutical companies
Disclosure UK is a critical part of the industry’s commitment to operating openly and transparently. We’re very proud of our work with healthcare professionals and organisations, and it’s now more important than ever for us to work with the NHS to create the treatments and vaccines people need. Richard Torbett, Chief Executive, ABPI
Updated 2019 data is published on the Disclosure UK database today. Disclosure UK is the public, pharmaceutical industry-led transparency database which details ‘transfers of value’, made to UK healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organisations (HCOs) by pharmaceutical companies.
Values for research and development (R&D) are always published in aggregate.
Values for non-R&D collaborations are broken-down and published against individually named HCPs and HCOs, where data protection law allows. The non-R&D breakdown for 2019 was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Disclosure data is normally published annually at the end of June, but this year the process was disrupted by the pandemic. In June 2020, the ABPI published all of the 2019 data in aggregate which minimised pressure on NHS workers, hospitals and other NHS organisations as they responded to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that the non-R&D portion of the 2019 data was not broken down by individual HCPs and HCOs (where relevant) until today.
A technical statement on why the disclosure process was changed can be viewed here.
The updated 2019 data published today shows:
• £542.9 million has been disclosed by pharmaceutical companies for 2019, compared with £508.1 million for 2018.
o £381.9 million of this was spent on R&D*, compared with £377.3 million in 2018.
o £160.9 million of this was spent on non-R&D* collaborations with HCOs and HCPs in 2019, vs £130.8 million in 2018. Much of this increase was due to payments to HCOs.
The non-R&D money was spent on the following categories:
• Registration fees – £3.6 million (vs £3.5 million in 2018)
• Sponsorship agreements with HCOs/3rd parties – £34.1 million (£28.9 million)
• Travel and accommodation – £10.4 million (£9.8 million)
• Donations and grants to HCOs – £44.2 million (£26.2 million)
• Fees – £56.6 million (£50.5 million)
• Related expenses agreed in the fee for services or consultancy contract – £7.5 million (£6.8 million)
• Joint Working – £4.6 million (£5.2 million)
In 2019, an estimated 55.9% of healthcare professionals (HCPs) agreed for the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies to be made public on Disclosure UK, a slight decrease from 57.2% in 2018. However, of £160.9 million spent on non-R&D collaborations in 2019 with HCPs or HCOs, £139 million (or 86.4%) is disclosed against a named person or organisation.
Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
“Disclosure UK is a critical part of the industry’s commitment to operating openly and transparently. We’re very proud of our work with healthcare professionals and organisations, and it’s now more important than ever for us to work with the NHS to create the treatments and vaccines people need.
“We will continue to explore new ways to encourage healthcare professionals to agree to being named on Disclosure UK and seek the support of NHS leaders and regulators on this.
“I’d like to thank all the companies, healthcare professionals and organisations who worked with us to manage publication in this difficult year.”
Haseeb Ahmad, President of the ABPI, said:
“Creating new medicines can only be done in collaboration with healthcare professionals, organisations and industry as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic.
"Transparency in how we work together enhances understanding about how together we can change people’s lives.
"I look forward to continuing to work across industry and with our partners to provide this clarity.”
The 2019 disclosure data shows a 23% increase in the non-R&D money compared with 2018. This increase is mainly driven by payments made to HCOs.
Contributing factors for the increased spend in 2019 included:
• The introduction of a new service
• International projects with healthcare organisations
• An increase in requests from healthcare organisations for funding
• Increase in medical education activities
• Large, one-off joint projects
Encouraging HCP disclosure
The pharmaceutical industry in the UK continues to look for ways to increase agreement from healthcare professionals to be named on Disclosure UK. Disclosure is mandatory for pharmaceutical companies under the ABPI Code, however UK data protection law means individual HCPs can refuse to be named, if asked.
The ABPI launched a new leaflet this year, ‘Step Up to Disclosure UK’ which encourages HCPs to agree to disclosure on the database. The leaflet is the latest example of work by industry, NHS England, and other professional bodies to increase the number of HCPs agreeing to be disclosed by name on Disclosure UK.
• 2017 – ABPI worked with NHS England on their Guidance for managing conflicts of interest in the NHS – with Disclosure UK directly referenced.
• 2017 – ABPI/NHS England published a joint letter on our shared commitment to 100% HCP disclosure.
• 2017 – The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) published statement recommending HCPs agree to be named on Disclosure UK, and in 2020 published the 'Step Up' leaflet for HCPs (as above).
• 2017 – ABPI provided an engagement and communications toolkit to NHS trusts and wider to support organisations in advocating Disclosure UK to their employees.
• 2018 – AoMRC publish second statement recommending HCPs agree to be named on Disclosure UK.
• 2019 – ABPI produced best practice disclosure toolkit for companies.
• 2020 – ABPI published 'Step Up' leaflet for HCPs (as above) co-branded with professional bodes, encouraging HCPs to agree to be named on Disclosure UK.
In addition, General Medical Council guidance contains a HCP case study on declaring conflicts of interest, which includes being named on Disclosure UK.
Last modified: 20 September 2023
Last reviewed: 20 September 2023