Transparency: Sponsoring from patient initiatives, Update
Duration: April 2021 –May 2021
Background: Internationally, the disclosure of the relationship between medical professionals and patient organizations on the one hand, and industry on the other, has been discussed for a long time. In an effort to create transparency, pharmaceutical companies have committed themselves to publishing financial contributions to patient groups (since 2015) and (from 2016) to individual physicians, as well as to groups of physicians (for continuing medical education).
Also post-marketing surveillance studies, so called non interventional studies or NIS, have been mandated to be registered to make their results more transparent (from 2011). The medical device industry will follow suit with similar regulations (from 2017).
Project objective and research questions: The project has the goal to answer three questions:
- To what extent is continuing medical education in various specialities in Austria (DFP training) funded by industry? Which sponsors support which areas of CME?
- To what extent are Austrian patient organizations for various diseases financially supported by industry? Which sponsors support which sort of patient groups?
- Which research questions (which insight objectives) do the NIS database registered post-marketing surveillance studies have? What are the results of these NIS?
Methods: To answer the research questions, the following methods are used:
- Analysis of sponsoring in the DFP-database for 13 (of a total of 55) medical specialties.
- Analysis of information on sponsoring of patient organizations available on the company websites of the 115 members of PHARMIG (Association of Austria’s pharmaceutical industry/ Verband der pharmazeutischen Industrie Österreich).
- Analysis of projected research questions and available results of non interventional studies documented in the NIS register.