The new register, which may be ‘live’ in April 2013, is designed to facilitate collaborative working between doctors and industry by addressing concerns over possible conflicts of interest.
The Netherlands is the first EU country to require this level of transparency, following national guidelines that were set down a year ago, and other member states are predicted to follow.
There is agreement between the Dutch Minister of Health and representatives of the healthcare industry that the role of doctors in the development and early use of drugs is important and merits payment.
To ensure that such professional relationships are not seen as compromising patient care, it has been agreed, full transparency is needed.
Machteld Hiemstra, a lawyer with Simmons & Simmons who specialises in the life sciences industries, said: “Transparency on interactions between industry and healthcare professionals is dominating discussion across Europe at the moment and we anticipate that other member states will follow the Netherlands’ lead soon.
“Stakeholders are likely to monitor the impact of the Dutch transparency register with interest, as it will serve as a test case on the feasibility and effects of such transparency.”