From The BMJ Opinion: “One recommendation put forward by the Cumberlege review is that the General Medical Council (GMC) should maintain a publicly available list of the financial interests held by practising doctors.
But, while greater transparency about the nature of the financial interests is important, on its own, such a move is unlikely to mitigate the risks to patient safety and may make matters worse.
In the first place, such a policy has the potential to normalise the conflicts between the interest of the patient and the financial interests of the doctor . . .
Moreover, it is doubtful whether it will be possible to distinguish payments that inappropriately influence clinical decision making from those which are made for contributing to scientific innovations.
Another issue with the proposed policy is that it puts the onus on the patient to ensure that their doctor is safe to practise . . . However, ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’ should never be a principle which applies within healthcare.”