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Most patient groups that assess NHS treatments receive undeclared money from competing companies, a study has warned.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) asks patient groups for their views when approving a drug for NHS use in England.
Researchers - Thirds - Organisations - Funding - Manufacturers
But researchers have found two thirds of such organisations have received funding from manufacturers of a rival firm of the ones they had appraised.
Experts are now calling for greater transparency into decision-making processes as the patient organisations could have conflicting interests.
Industry - Funding - Manufacturers - Declarations - Accounts
Pharmaceutical industry funding was determined from manufacturers' declarations and accounts, annual reports, websites, and responses from patient organisations.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers found that 72 per cent of patient organisations received funding from the manufacturers of a competing technology or product to the ones they had appraised that year, or the year before.
Decision - Makers - Quarter - Interests - Team
Yet decision makers were aware of less than a quarter of these interests, found the team.
Disclosure by patient organisations of these interests was not even required by NICE's current policy for two thirds of these occasions.
Interests - Appraisal - Organisation - Cent
And conflicting interests specific to the appraisal an organisation were undertaking were present on 79 per cent...
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