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Financial interests of patient organisations involved in assessing NHS treatment

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Paul Clift
Member
Posts: 467
Financial interests of patient organisations involved in assessing NHS treatment
Posted on: February 19 2019, 07:36 pm

Dear All

This article "Financial interests of patient organisations involved in assessing NHS treatments revealed" appeared on the London School of Hygeine & Tropical Medicine website. It looks rather interesting in view of its subtitle "Greater transparency is needed to ensure decisions are not unduly influenced by industry".

I don't think this affects UKCAB or individuals directly, but outside observers might suspect it does because some of us as individuals and several of our organisations have accepted consultancy fees, honoraria or whatever from pharma companies. To my own personal and professional knowledge, such payments have not affected any HIV activist or any HIV activist-led organisation from giving due comment to pharma companies, to researchers, to policy makers including commissioners of services; indeed, I know from experience that such comment has been robust and unequivocal when judged necessary.

Nevertheless, we might be aware of the argument put forward in this article and in particular this illustrative example re NICE:

“NICE has been a pioneer in involving patients in drug decisions, and the high level of contributions from patient organisations seen in our study is an indicator of success. However, we found that NICE’s disclosure policy does not provide decision makers with enough information on funding received by patient organisations from drug manufacturers.

“NICE needs to urgently strengthen its disclosure policy for patient organisations to reassure the public that drug decisions are not unduly influenced by industry.”

For what it's worth, BHIVA are looking to amend its disclosure policy from compuslory declaration of such payments over £1000 each to insisting on disclosure of all such payments regardless of amount. Might we as Community follow suit?

www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2019/financial-interests-patient-organisations-involved-assessing-nhs-treatments
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