by Ed Silverman
Published at pharmalot.com
Last month, a few dozen advocacy groups wrote the ceo of each drugmaker, along with Phrma and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations, urging them to disclose their global contributions. The reason? Concern that donations result in off-label marketing by groups receiving funds; mask the agendas of public policy groups that debate policy issues, and allow researchers to circumvent normal disclosure requirements.
In doing so, they cited Lilly’s recent decision to make disclosures, at least in the US. Now, the groups report that Lilly has agreed to expand its disclosure policy on a global basis. A letter from Lilly ceo Sid Taurel states that: “Our intention remains to disclose this information globally, and we believe we will be in a position to accomplish this beginning sometime in 2008.” (This is the letter, although the signature was cut off).[add pharmalot’s link here]
Here’s a response from Robert Weissman, director of Essential Action, which is coordinating the effort: “Disclosure of donations is a small, but important step to remedying the improper influence exerted by Big Pharma through its support for patient groups, continuing medical education and advocacy organizations and think tanks. Eli Lilly is showing the rest of the industry that disclosure is feasible. It’s time for the rest to follow. PhRMA and the IFPMA should work to immediately make disclosure of such contributions the industry norm.”