Countdown to European pharma transparency begins

On the 30 June, for the first time ever, pharmaceutical companies across Europe will disclose details of all collaborations with healthcare professionals and organisations as part of the new European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) Disclosure Code.

Information disclosed will include all transfers of value made during 2015, including payments made to doctors, nurses and healthcare organisations, as well as their names where possible.

Director General of the European pharma trade body, Richard Bergström, said: “Increasing transparency through the individual disclosure of transfers of value is good for everyone, including healthcare professionals because it builds understanding of this important collaboration.

“When pharmaceutical companies research, develop and introduce new medicines in to clinical practice, it requires input from many stakeholders such as health professionals and healthcare organisations. The introduction of the EFPIA Disclosure Code helps to increase understanding of these important relationships.”

Initially formally adopted by the EFPIA in 2013, the code is the first of its kind across Europe, following in the footsteps of the Physicians Payments Sunshine Act enforced in the US in 2010.

The Disclosure Code has been met with a split opinion across the pharmaceutical industry, with many believing the deal with lead to more complications than solutions. The influence different cultures across Europe on the timing and uniformity of disclosure, along with the release of doctors’ details, have been the main concerns expressed by many in the field.

Speaking at a roundtable event in Barcelona last December, Andy Powrie-Smith, EFPIA’s Head of Communications, argued the code can only be a good thing, stating that “we need to move from a conflict of interest to a confluence of interest, and transparency helps to do that.”

All 33 member national pharmaceutical industry associations of the EFPIA will need to disclose transfers of value, including the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

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