On 22 June 2016, the Belgian transparency register betransparent.be went live. The betransparent.be platform is a new, self-regulatory initiative from the Belgian healthcare sector, developed as a practical implementation of the 2013 EFPIA Disclosure Code, which requires disclosure of all transfers of value from pharmaceutical companies (that are members of its member associations, including the Belgian pharmaceutical industry association pharma.be) to healthcare professionals by 30 June 2016. EFPIA is the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.
In accordance with the EFPIA Disclosure Code, implemented in the pharma.be Code of Deontology, the “transfers of value” published in the transparency register are:
- Financial remuneration for services rendered.
- Financial contribution towards costs for attendance at congresses and other scientific events.
- Donations and grants to healthcare organisations.
- On an aggregate basis, any remuneration accorded to research and development.
The first publication of such transfers of value, which occurred on 22 June, related to transfers from 2015, and further publications will take place annually (in June) concerning transfers from the preceding year. The published data will be available for three years, after which they will be removed from the online platform.
In Belgium, in contrast with many other countries, the transparency initiative was jointly developed by the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry, in close collaboration with 27 associations from the healthcare sector, including the Ethical Health platform Mdeon, and associations representing physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and so on. During this first phase, only member companies of pharma.be had their data published, but the publication of data will extend to beMedTech members (the medical devices industry association) and FeBelGen companies (the generics and biosimilars association) in June 2017, and during a later phase, members of BACHI (representing the OTC industry).
In 2015, 80 innovative pharmaceutical companies invested EUR 138,546,264 in scientific collaborations in Belgium, 65% of which related to research and development.
A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, June 2016 Issue (Thomson Reuters).