A consultation that is searching for views on the possible introduction of regulations mandating the disclosure of industry payments to the healthcare sector has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The DHSC is seeking views on the possible introduction of new secondary legislation to place a duty on manufacturers and commercial suppliers of medicines, assistive devices, and borderline substances to report details of the payments and other benefits they provide to healthcare professionals and organisations.

The consultation aims to address the second part of recommendation eight contained in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review regarding real and perceived conflicts of interest in the health system. Gathering views through the consultation is an important step in the development of policies in this area, according to the DHSC.

Will Quince, Minister for Health and Secondary Care, stated: “This consultation comes at an important time for the UK life sciences industry. Advances in technologies such as software and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to transform patient care, while COVID-19 has spurred innovation in antivirals and diagnostics.

“The proposals will enable respondents to share views on: the information they would need to provide; recipients in scope; payments that would potentially need to be reported; timing and content of reporting.

“At the same time, there is work to be done to ensure that the medicines and medical devices we use remain safe and effective for everyone.

“The First do no harm report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review led by Baroness Cumberlege showed us that industry and the healthcare system must adapt to listen to patient needs and prevent the failings of the past. To address these issues, transparency is key.”

The consultation closes at 11.59pm on 16 October 2023 and also seeks views on alternatives to regulation. Click here to view the consultation.

Will continued: “To build trust and protect the health system from real and perceived conflicts of interest, we must understand and support the important ways in which industry interacts with the healthcare profession.

“We now wish to understand whether information about these interactions should be accessible to the public to ensure that these do not compromise patient care.

“Patients across the UK place great trust in our health system. To preserve that trust, we must continue to strive for the highest standards of practice from industry, healthcare professionals and organisations.

“Through this consultation, we have an excellent opportunity to further these efforts, and ensure that decisions over healthcare products are always centred on the needs and best interests of patients.”

The UK Government has unveiled an extra £50 million for home adaptations, which will be provided to local authorities to enable older people and those with disabilities to live safely and independently in their own homes.

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