Health prepares MP on doctors’ conflict of interest

Companies will have to disclose payments and benefits granted to doctors, healthcare facilities or patient associations

One of the priorities of the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, for 2022 is a project to show conflicts of interest between doctors and companies in the health sector. The draft (preliminary text) of the MP (Provisional Measure) has already been prepared and will be sent to the Planalto Palace.

THE Power 360 had access to the document. The MP will oblige companies to annually disclose payments, benefits or “advantage of any kind” granted to doctors, healthcare establishments, patient associations or persons in public office. The project seeks to bring transparency to these relationships.

In the draft, the Ministry of Health argues that transparency “is in the public interest and right of every consumer patient” of a medical product or service.

Marcelo Queiroga had already described the project to the Power 360 in March. “There are specialists who seek out the media and defend certain ideas, but behind that specialist there is a sponsoring pharmaceutical industry”defended the minister at the time.

Watch the excerpt from the interview in which Queiroga talks about the project (from 31min18s):

The MP will be prepared in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the Comptroller General of the Union. The text of the draft of the Ministry of Health will still undergo review by other areas of the government.

According to the draft text, the MP determines the disclosure of any expense or benefit payment – ​​directly or through reimbursement. Included in this category are transport, food, accommodation, courses, events or entertainment activities.

The project also requires publicly reporting the amount paid for providing services. The draft text cites scientific research, lectures, consulting or copyright exploitation as examples of these services.

The disclosure of this information will have to be made on the company’s website and on the Transparency Portal (or on the similar portal of the Comptroller General of the Union). The sector will have until January 31 of the year following the granting of the benefit to carry out the report. The beneficiary’s consent will not be required for the disclosure of data.

The MP will also prohibit any benefit to doctors who are conditioned to prescribe or influence the purchase or administration of medicines. Another action barred is to grant benefits related to medicines without registration or with emergency registration at Anvisa (Agência de Vigilância Sanitária).

Those who fail to comply with the MP may be penalized by means of a fine, termination of the relationship with the government or temporary suspension from participating in public tenders for up to 2 years.

The project is based on the US Sunshine Act. “The industry’s relationship with doctors itself is not a problem. The problem is that this relationship is not transparent”, said Queiroga to the Power 360 in March.

There are doctors who are prescribing champions. It is necessary for the Judiciary, when it determines the Union to pay for the drug, to know what are the links of these professionals with the pharmaceutical industry”, he defended.

Here is a summary of the project, according to the Ministry of Health’s draft:

  • Who will be required to disclose the information:
    • manufacturers, suppliers, importers, distributors and sellers of medicines, orthotics, prostheses, special materials and hospital equipment.
  • Regarding relationships with:
    • physicians, patient associations, employees linked to public laboratories that have development partnerships
      productive, politically exposed people (in public positions) and public and private health establishments, with or without
      to profit.
  • What information:
    • offer of service or payment of expenses with transportation, food, accommodation, courses, seminars, congresses, events, fairs or entertainment activities, offered by the grantor to the beneficiary, directly or through reimbursement;
    • good, service or advantage of any kind of whoever has an interest in the decision of the beneficiary or of the collegiate in which he participates;
    • transfer of financial value carried out by the grantor to the beneficiary as a result of the provision of services, such as scientific research, consultancy, presentation of scientific works, lectures, exploitation of copyright or industrial property;
    • donation of goods or financial values.

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