Payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff (1980 - 1986)

JJ Evans made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Commission on Human Medicines

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Commission on Human Medicines.

Dear Commission on Human Medicines,

I am requesting a register of payments or benefits in kind from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to staff / members of the CSM covering the period of 1980 1986 in case of conflicts of interest [1].

I am requesting a copy of the register - which I would hope includes details of all relevant payments to staff and any related potential conflicts of interest.

If it would be possible to have this information in an appropriate structured data format - for example, a CSV file - this would be helpful. If this Trust does not have a complete register, I would request: the release of the information on this topic that the Trust does hold; and an explanation of why the Trust does not hold a complete register.

I am aware that some would view data on pharmaceutical funding as personal data for those staff receiving the funding. Even if some of the information on this register may be classed as personal data (although this is contestable - for example, in some sectors of academia information re funding sources is made public as a matter of course) it would be covered by paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act. The release of these data is "necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed" [2]. Spurling et al's systematic review of how information from pharmaceutical companies impacts physicians' prescribing reported that, of the studies included which looked at total promotional investment, three "found that total promotional investment was positively associated with prescribing frequency...Two...found both positive results and no association...One study did not detect an association" [3]. There is thus a legitimate interest in releasing this register: the available research suggests that it is plausible that payments received influence how public money is spent and the type of care provided to members of the public.

For the reasons given above, there is a strong public interest in releasing this information. While "requests for the personal data of a third party are exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act...if disclosure would contravene section 10 of the Data Protection Act, the right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress" [2], I would argue that, even if some of those named in these documents feel that their release would cause them damage or distress, this is outweighed by the significant public interest served by releasing these data.

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/a...
[2] http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/info...
[3] http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info...

Yours faithfully,

JJ Evans

MHRA Customer Services, Commission on Human Medicines

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

MHRA Customer Services, Commission on Human Medicines

Our Ref: FOI 16/248
       
Dear JJ Evans,
       
RE:  REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
       
Thank you for your enquiry which we received on 18 April 2016. 
       
I confirm that your request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act and you should receive a reply within 20 working days from our date of receipt.

If you need to contact us again about this request, please quote the reference number above.
       

Kind Regards,

Customer Services
Communications division
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
151 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9SZ
Telephone: 020 3080 6000
Email: [Commission on Human Medicines request email]
Stay connected: mhra.gov.uk/stayconnected

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOILicensing, Commission on Human Medicines

1 Atodiad

Dear JJ Evans

 

Please find attached the final response for the above FOI request.

Best regards

The FOI Licensing Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir