Doctors have nothing to fear with a central register of interests, experts say

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Doctors in the UK have nothing to fear with the introduction of a central register that includes money or benefits they receive in addition to the NHS salary, experts say today before a public meeting on the issue organized by the Parliamentary group of all parties for the first fact that it does not hurt and The BMJ.

Last year, the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, investigated the harmful side effects caused by the Primodos hormone pregnancy test, the sodium valproate antiepileptic drug and the pelvic mesh.

During the review, he heard from concerned patients that physicians had been remunerated or encouraged by manufacturers in a way that could influence their practice.

A key recommendation was that patients have the right to know if their doctor has links to pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

The attached report called for the General Medical Council (GMC) to expand the registry to include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all physicians. He also said manufacturers should take responsibility for making sure they post details of payments they make to teaching hospitals and .

In 2019, spent more than £ 160 million on non-research and development partnerships with healthcare organizations and . However, there is currently no central record of financial and non-financial interests of clinicians in the UK, unlike in the US.

The interests of doctors are usually collected by their employer, while Sunshine UK hosts a voluntary register of doctors ’interests (whopaysthisdoctor.org).

The British Pharmaceutical Industry Association (ABPI) also has its own voluntary database called Disclosure UK. However, under data protection laws, healthcare professionals may refuse to publish your name.

In addition to the Cumberlege review, there is growing support from the medical community for a central registry. A survey conducted by The BMJ found that almost 90% of medical professional bodies agree that the UK should have a public and mandatory record of doctors ’interests.

And in response to the view that any record should include all clinical decision-making staff, not just physicians, Cumberlege said that “physicians are the top decision makers in patient care, they determine treatment. and they do surgery. So we have to start with the doctors. “

Both Margaret McCartney, a general practitioner and health journalist, and Susan Bewley, president of Healthwatch UK and co-founder of Sunshine UK, believe that GMC is the only suitable organization to have a record of doctors’ interests, as it is the only organization that has a list of all registered doctors in the UK.

For McCartney, the goal of any central registry should be to reduce the bureaucracy of healthcare professionals and increase transparency for professionals and patients.

Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, agrees that the registry should be easy to use and not cost doctors much to doctors. “We should be convinced that it was light, effective and that it would make a difference,” he says.


Establish a national registry to capture payments from pharmaceutical companies to physicians and patient support groups


More information:
Abi Rimmer, Briefing: Why do we need a mandatory record of doctors’ interests? BMJ (2021). DOI: 10.1136 / bmj.n1280

Citation: Doctors have nothing to fear from a central register of interests, according to experts (2021, May 21), retrieved on May 21, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05- doctors-central-register-experts.html

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