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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The importance of transparency

Wednesday, 15 February

I am part of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges' working group on transparency and working with the pharmaceutical industry and other providers of services, such as devices used in medicine. As part of this, we visited the Netherlands yesterday, to look at the work that the Netherlands pharmaceutical industry and medical profession are doing. This was really informative, as they have been able to work successfully with their Ministry of Health, and will be reaching a point in 2013 of very clear declarations of payments made to doctors and any form of sponsorship for work done for the pharmaceutical industry, with a single point access data system for this.

The Academy working group will shortly be sending out a consultation document, and I intend to deal with this by sending it out to our members as a formal survey.  I think this is a very important issue, and we must get the views of as many members as possible.

In the meantime, life around the Health and Social Care Bill changes from day to day. I will keep you informed as and when there are developments. But although the Bill is occupying much of our time, I'm still finding space in my diary for meetings with people with whom we have shared interests. Earlier today, I had the pleasure of meeting Juliet Lyons, Director of the Prison Reform Trust. I also talked to Profsesor Cornelius Katona about immigration and children, an issue that Juliet Lyons is equally interested in.



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