Research Paper

Management Of Conflicts Of Interest in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry Cooperation

Chapter: Slovakia | Year: 2018

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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 faced by doctors working with the pharmaceutical industry and at the same time involved in the categorisation of medicines - deciding which medicines to pay from public health insurance sources (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 being 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 in the range of 1 to 5 thousand 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 received from the pharmaceutical industry.
  5. A conflict of interest was found to exist amongst one in every second procedure advisor in evaluating or voting on medicines.


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