Conflict of interest

UK doctors net £40m in one year from drug companies

5 April 2013

UK-based doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals were given £40m by big pharmaceutical companies in just one year, according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Both NHS and private staff were paid the sum for consultancies, sponsorships and other dealings with drug businesses in 2012. The ABPI said it released the figures as part of its “on-going transparency drive”.

The money was paid to medics for “attending medical education events, support such as training and development, as well as fees for services such as speaking engagements to share good clinical practice and participation in advisory boards,” a spokesman said.

Leaders of the medical profession and pharmaceutical industries are examining whether doctors paid by drug companies should declare their dealings on a public register.

Disclosure of payments would be a “significant step” towards greater transparency, according to the Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group.