COMPETING INTERESTS

This BMJ Feature article on Competing Interests was published on the 6th January 2021 and can be read in full here.

In 2013 I raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament urging the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland, creating a searchable record of all payments (including payments in kind) to NHS Scotland healthcare workers from Industry and Commerce.

This petition was closed in March 2016 following a gathering of views from the Scottish public which, the [then] Cabinet Secretary for Health described as providing the Government  “for the first time with views from patients and the public on the issues” and that “a majority of participants felt that publication of financial payments to healthcare professionals should be mandatory.”

The Scottish Government however chose  to reject sunshine legislation [as reported in the BMJ in 2019].

The Scottish Government states that it is open to acknowledgeing mistakes made. Given the increasing public and professional disquiet regarding competing interests, and particularly in light of the Cumberlege Report, it is my fervent hope that the Scottish Government will take action. Without this, avoidable harm is likely to continue.

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