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Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Jonathan Mendel made this Freedom of Information request to University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

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

We're waiting for Jonathan Mendel to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Hospital trusts are reportedly meant to keep a register of payments from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to staff, in case of conflicts of interest [1]. I am requesting a copy of the register for this Trust - 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.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

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

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

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Sent request to University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust again, using a new contact address.

FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr. Mendel

Thank you for your request for information that is being processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
This Trust will endeavour to provide a response within the 20 working days specified by the Act, ie 23 May 2013
For your information the reference number that relates to your application is foi.13.108

We will contact you again in due course.

Yours sincerely

Sally Maine
Information Access Co-ordinator
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Please note that the Trust's FOI email address has now changed and is now [Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

Sally Maine
Information Access Co-ordinator
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Consent/Disclaimer when communicating via email/text with patients

Nhs.net is an approved secure encrypted email system for use by nhs staff when exchanging patient data.

When using this email system to communicate with other non encrypted email systems, such as that of a patient, or for testing, the transmission cannot be guaranteed 100% secure or error free. Information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. Derby Hospitals and their employees do not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of messages, which arise as result of email transmission.

If you wish to communicate via email or receive text messages about your care you must accept the risks associated with this.
________________________________________
From: Jonathan Mendel [[FOI #158645 email]]
Sent: 24 April 2013 01:22
To: FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Hospital trusts are reportedly meant to keep a register of payments
from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to
staff, in case of conflicts of interest [1]. I am requesting a copy
of the register for this Trust - 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.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

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

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #158645 email]

Is [Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust? If so, please
contact us using this form:
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show quoted sections

FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

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    foi.13.108 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality Snr Staff 2.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2001 02 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2002 03 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2003 04 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2004 05 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2005 06 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2006 07 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2007 08 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2008 09 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2009 10 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2010 11 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    foi.13.108 2013 14 Financial Interests Sponsorship Hospitality General Staff 1.pdf

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    FOI SatisfactionFeedback Questionnaire 2010 1.doc

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Please note that the Trust's FOI email address has now changed and is now [Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

Dear Dr Mendel

Please see the attached response to your request for information.

Additionally, the Trust is keen to understand how well applicants feel their request was processed and we would be grateful if you would complete and return the attached FOI Satisfaction/Feedback Questionnaire.
Please return this to this email address: [Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

Many thanks for your help and assistance.

Sally Maine
Information Access Co-ordinator
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Consent/Disclaimer when communicating via email/text with patients

Nhs.net is an approved secure encrypted email system for use by nhs staff when exchanging patient data.

When using this email system to communicate with other non encrypted email systems, such as that of a patient, or for testing, the transmission cannot be guaranteed 100% secure or error free. Information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. Derby Hospitals and their employees do not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of messages, which arise as result of email transmission.

If you wish to communicate via email or receive text messages about your care you must accept the risks associated with this.
________________________________________
From: Jonathan Mendel [[FOI #158645 email]]
Sent: 24 April 2013 01:22
To: FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Hospital trusts are reportedly meant to keep a register of payments
from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to
staff, in case of conflicts of interest [1]. I am requesting a copy
of the register for this Trust - 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.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

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

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #158645 email]

Is [Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust? If so, please
contact us using this form:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/cont...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Jonathan Mendel

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Thanks for your response to my FOI request. Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of the Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff'.

Names of staff below Director level are absent from the information released. Even if staff names may be classed as personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act) they 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" [1]. 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" [2]. There is thus a legitimate interest in releasing this register: the available research suggests that it is plausible that payments received influence how substantial amounts of public money is spent and the type of care provided to members of the public.

I would note that it is standard practice for declarations of interest to be made in public as part of many roles: for example, when researchers and clinicians publish research. Likewise, given that Trust staff will often be responsible for spending significant amounts of public money and providing key public services, one might expect that these declarations of interest would legitimately be made public. As is clear from the Spurling et al. article cited, there is a relatively long history of interest and concern re the impact of pharmaceutical company funding and hospitality on prescribing. It should therefore not be entirely surprising to individual clinicians that there are calls for the release of these data. This is the case even with some staff below Director grade. However, if the Trust feels that there are particular issues with release of personal data for some staff (for example, very junior staff members) then I would be happy to discuss this; however, the redaction at the moment seems to be rather too broadly applied.

Making these data public will open up further opportunities for academic and journalistic research on the impacts of payments and hospitality. It is important to include the names of those declaring interests: among other benefits, this will allow more effective scrutiny of Conflicts of Interest and could allow more extensive analysis: for example, it has been suggested that one could compare declarations on these registers with Conflict of Interest statements on open access pubmed papers.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

[1]
http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/info...
[2]
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info...

FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Mendel

Thank you for your recent communication requesting an internal review of the response that has been sent to you.

This Trust will contact you again as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Sally Maine
Information Access Co-ordinator
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Consent/Disclaimer when communicating via email/text with patients

Nhs.net is an approved secure encrypted email system for use by nhs staff when exchanging patient data.

When using this email system to communicate with other non encrypted email systems, such as that of a patient, or for testing, the transmission cannot be guaranteed 100% secure or error free. Information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. Derby Hospitals and their employees do not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of messages, which arise as result of email transmission.

If you wish to communicate via email or receive text messages about your care you must accept the risks associated with this.
________________________________________
From: Jonathan Mendel [[FOI #158645 email]]
Sent: 23 June 2013 19:59
To: FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Thanks for your response to my FOI request. Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of the Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff'.

Names of staff below Director level are absent from the information released. Even if staff names may be classed as personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act) they 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" [1]. 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" [2]. There is thus a legitimate interest in releasing this register: the available research suggests that it is plausible that payments received influence how
substantial amounts of public money is spent and the type of care provided to members of the public.

I would note that it is standard practice for declarations of interest to be made in public as part of many roles: for example, when researchers and clinicians publish research. Likewise, given that Trust staff will often be responsible for spending significant amounts of public money and providing key public services, one might expect that these declarations of interest would legitimately be made public. As is clear from the Spurling et al. article cited, there is a relatively long history of interest and concern re the impact of pharmaceutical company funding and hospitality on prescribing. It should therefore not be entirely surprising to individual clinicians that there are calls for the release of these data. This is the case even with some staff below Director grade. However, if the Trust feels that there are particular issues with release of personal data for some staff (for example, very junior staff members) then I would be happy to discuss this; however, the re
daction at the moment seems to be rather too broadly applied.

Making these data public will open up further opportunities for academic and journalistic research on the impacts of payments and hospitality. It is important to include the names of those declaring interests: among other benefits, this will allow more effective scrutiny of Conflicts of Interest and could allow more extensive analysis: for example, it has been suggested that one could compare declarations on these registers with Conflict of Interest statements on open access pubmed papers.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

[1]
http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/info...
[2]
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info...

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #158645 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

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Dear Dr Mendel

Please find attached this Trust's response to your request for a Freedom of Information review.

Yours sincerely

Sally Maine
Information Access Co-ordinator
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
________________________________________
From: Jonathan Mendel [[FOI #158645 email]]
Sent: 23 June 2013 19:59
To: FOI (DERBY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Dear Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Thanks for your response to my FOI request. Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of the Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff'.

Names of staff below Director level are absent from the information released. Even if staff names may be classed as personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act) they 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" [1]. 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" [2]. There is thus a legitimate interest in releasing this register: the available research suggests that it is plausible that payments received influence how
substantial amounts of public money is spent and the type of care provided to members of the public.

I would note that it is standard practice for declarations of interest to be made in public as part of many roles: for example, when researchers and clinicians publish research. Likewise, given that Trust staff will often be responsible for spending significant amounts of public money and providing key public services, one might expect that these declarations of interest would legitimately be made public. As is clear from the Spurling et al. article cited, there is a relatively long history of interest and concern re the impact of pharmaceutical company funding and hospitality on prescribing. It should therefore not be entirely surprising to individual clinicians that there are calls for the release of these data. This is the case even with some staff below Director grade. However, if the Trust feels that there are particular issues with release of personal data for some staff (for example, very junior staff members) then I would be happy to discuss this; however, the re
daction at the moment seems to be rather too broadly applied.

Making these data public will open up further opportunities for academic and journalistic research on the impacts of payments and hospitality. It is important to include the names of those declaring interests: among other benefits, this will allow more effective scrutiny of Conflicts of Interest and could allow more extensive analysis: for example, it has been suggested that one could compare declarations on these registers with Conflict of Interest statements on open access pubmed papers.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

[1]
http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/info...
[2]
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info...

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #158645 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Jonathan Mendel please sign in and let everyone know.