The BMJ reported that organisations representing doctors agree that the General Medical Council (GMC) should include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all doctors. 

The BMJ said nearly 90% of organisations representing doctors agree that the UK should have a mandatory and public register of doctors’ interests, a survey found.  The BMJ survey wrote to six faculties, 14 royal medical colleges, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges about such a register. It received responses from two faculties, 12 colleges, and the academy, a 71% response rate. 

Of the organisations that responded, 13 (87%) agreed that there should be a mandatory and public register of doctors’ interests in the UK. 

Last year the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Julia Cumberlege, recommended that: 

“Transparency of payments made to clinicians needs to improve. The register of the General Medical Council (GMC) should be expanded to include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all doctors, as well as doctors’ particular clinical interests and their recognised and accredited specialisms. In addition, there should be mandatory reporting for pharmaceutical and medical device industries of payments made to teaching hospitals, research institutions and individual clinicians.”

The BMJ’s report said the review investigated harmful side effects caused by the hormone pregnancy test Primodos, the anti-epileptic drug sodium valproate, and surgical mesh. One of its key conclusions was that patients had a right to know if their doctor had financial or other links with pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

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