Research Paper

Management Of Conflicts Of Interest in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry Cooperation

Chapter: Slovakia | Year: 2018

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Transparency Slovakia works to reduce corruption and increase the transparency of institutions. It scrutinises the powerful, pushes for solutions and engages people in public scrutiny. It’s vision is to work towards a Slovakia with responsible-minded citizens and open institutions without corruption.

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Theory of Change

Policy & Insititutional Change
Improved enforcement of policies Better Institutional Processes
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The research explored the potential conflicts of interest that doctors face when working with the pharmaceutical industry and at the same time being involved in the categorisation of medicines - deciding which medicines to pay for with public health insurance resources (risks of biased drug decisions).


The research analysed data on the level of collaboration between healthcare advisors and pharmaceutical companies. The data is published under an amendment to the Slovakia Act on Drugs.


  1. The declaration of conflicts of interest which is advised by the Ministry of Health is insufficient.
  2. Based on an analysis of data on financial and non-financial transactions between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals in 2016, it is clear that professionals (second categorisation advisors) collaborate to some extent with the pharmaceutical industry.
  3. The majority of healthcare advisors receive benefits ranging between 1,000 to 5,000 Euros. Nevertheless, only 1 in 5 consultants declare the name of the company for which they work or have recently worked.
  4. Overall, healthcare advisors disclose less than 4% of the amounts they receive from the pharmaceutical industry.
  5. A conflict of interest was detected amongst one in every second procedure advisor working on evaluating or voting on medicines.


  1. In order to increase the transparency and reliability of declarations, we recommend that declarations are automatically published online (available only on request at the moment).
  2. At the same time, based on good practice in the UK, the Slovakian government should restructure the exclusion rules concerning conflicts of interest and increase sanctions for the concealment of conflicts.