Medical royal colleges ‘receive millions from drug and medical devices companies’
Royal colleges in the UK have received more than £9 million in marketing payments from drug and medical devices companies since 2015, but do not always disclose the payments publicly, finds an investigation published by the BMJ (2023).
Investigative journalist Hristio Boytchev asked the colleges to disclose all payments from industry, campaign groups or patient associations, including the specific amount received from each donor, but they all refused to do so except the Royal College of Anaesthetists, which did send a list of the payments it had received.
The other data was compiled from Disclosure UK, a website run by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Transparent MedTech, run by MedTech Europe, the European trade association for medical device firms. This showed that pharmaceutical companies contributed £7.5 million in the years 2015–2022, with more than half going to the Royal College of Physicians (£2.8 million) and the Royal College of GPs (£2.4 million), mainly for sponsorship of events, donations and grants, and joint ventures. The biggest donor overall was Pfizer, with £1.8 million, followed by Novo Nordisk with £730 000 and Daiichi Sankyo with £478 000.
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