Seven years ago this Editorial was published in the BMJ:
Eleven years ago, all NHS Chief Executives in Scotland were asked to implement and govern this Scottish Government circular: HDL 62. This has not happened.
The General Medical Council published nine years ago: “Good Medical Practice”, which makes very clear:General Medical Council on conflicts of interest from omphalos on Vimeo.
Seven years ago the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued its own guidance, CR148:
Given these multiple levels of failing in governance, and in the pursuit of scientific objectivity, I have petitioned the Scottish Government to consider implementing a Sunshine Act. The research behind this can be accessed here.
I am employed as an NHS psychiatrist and have been an NHS Consultant for 13 years.
Over this time, the key opinion leaders in UK psychiatry (though I have never met) have become known to me.
Continuing Medical Education invites (generally “CME-accredited”) come to my NHS e-mail address on a weekly basis.
As an NHS employee I have had regular invites to attend “CME-accredited” conferences that include educational talks by distinguished speakers such as:
- Professor Allan Young
- Professor Peter Passmore
- Professor Guy Goodwin
- Professor Philip J Cowen
- Professor David Nutt
- Professor J Chick
- Professor David Taylor (pharmacist)
- Professor Clive Ballard
- Professor Nick Fox
It is the case that (in 2015) we still have no way of knowing how much may be paid to any individual to educate professionals like myself
The ABPI “central platform”, which will be operational next year, allows individuals to “opt out” of revealing any payments.
Dr McCartney has long argued that the medical profession should take the lead on transparency. I agree.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists guidance CR148 has not been followed since it was introduced seven years ago. The updated system (following my dogged persistence) still fails to require details of monetary exchange or for specific dates of (any such) payments.
The USA have introduced a Sunshine Act and so in recent years, drug companies have started releasing details of the payments they make to doctors and other health professionals for promotional talks, research and consulting:
Over a decade ago, I noted this letter of reply by Professor Philip J Cowen. A reply that troubled me.
A straightforward internet search would indicate that Professor Cowen has followed extant guidance regarding transparency. Here follows some of the material on Professor Cowen to be found in the public domain: From “Our own window” published in BMJ rapid responses: