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Health body questions use of drug company funding

first_img Tagged with: corporate Funding Ireland Law / policy Howard Lake | 7 May 2015 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis The Health Services Executive (HSE) in Ireland is reviewing how funds raised from pharmaceutical companies are used following the revelation in Independent.ie that two hospital posts have been funded from that source.Connolly Hospital in Dublin used the drugs company money – paid through a charitable company – to fund a registrar in rheumatology and a locum consultant to work full time in the public hospital. The drugs companies in question include Abbvie, MSD, Pfizer and Roche, some of which provide drugs to treat rheumatology.The hospital used the drugs company funds to pay for the registrar’s post for more than seven years while it started using drugs company funds to finance a full-time locum consultant physician last year. The information came from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Sunday Independent.The FOI showed that the HSE was unaware of what it called the “unusual” funding arrangement until the newspaper submitted questions about it in January. In an email to the acute hospitals division, HSE Director General Tony O’Brien asked whether there was a “conflict of interest” in the drug company funding of medical posts, whether the arrangement was “transparent” and whether it breached pay rules, according the Sunday Independent.In its reply to the HSE, Connolly Hospital said there was no conflict of interest, that it was transparent and that it did not breach pay rules. It said “multiple companies” were involved in funding the post of locum consultant, and it pointed out that the funds were provided through a charitable company.The Health Service Executive (HSE) is now reviewing how drug company money and other external funds are being used in the public health serviceMeanwhile, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown has since stopped using drug company funds to pay for the rheumatology registrar and is also “regularising” the consultant post, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.The hospital drew on the drugs company funds to pay for the registrar’s post for more than seven years, the documents reveal, while it started using drugs company funds to finance a full-time locum consultant physician last year.The HSE said the “registrar post has been regularised and is no longer funded externally.” Meanwhile, “regularising the consultant post” in line with HSE rules had been agreed with the hospital.“Separately there is a requirement to re-state the rule set in relation to the use of charitable funds and philanthropy for public health services. We also need to review the rules in relation to clinical trials and ensure that there is clarity about the use of such external funds for posts,” the HSE said.Drug company support for hospitals is regulated in the UK by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Health body questions use of drug company funding About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.  17 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more