Reporting of financial relationships between physicians and drug makers remains inconsistent across Europe. According to an analysis by the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, only three countries (France, Portugal, and Latvia) have laws requiring companies to report financial ties. Others, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K., use a self-policing system that allows physicians to choose whether to file disclosure reports.
The report authors called for “minimum standards” for disclosure to be adopted across Europe. “This would be best achieved through European Union legislation that is implemented by each member state, ensuring harmonization among countries without existing policies,” they wrote. “… And all payments to health-care professionals and organizations should be included.”
In the U.S., the Sunshine Act requires companies to disclose payments made to physicians and houses these data in a publicly available database. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) recently announced plans to introduce a bill extending this disclosure requirement to other health-care professionals, such as nurses and pharmacists, as well as patient advocacy groups and professional medical societies.
Source: STAT News, March 20, 2018.