Financial relationships between patient and consumer representatives and the health industry: a systematic review

Joanne Khabsa, Aline Semaan, Amena El-Harakeh, Assem M. Khamis, Serena Obeid, Hussein A. Noureldine, Elie A. Akl

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Background Patients and consumers are increasingly engaged in health policymaking, research and drug regulation. Having financial relationships with the health industry creates situations of conflicts of interest (COI) and might compromise their meaningful and unbiased participation. Objective To synthesize available evidence on the financial relationships between the health industry and patient and consumer representatives and their organizations. Methods We systematically searched MEDLINE and EMBASE. We selected studies and abstracted data in duplicate and independently. We reported on outcomes related to financial relationships of individuals with, and/or funding of organizations by the health industry. Results We identified a total of 14 510 unique citations, of which 24 reports of 23 studies were eligible. Three studies (13%) addressed the financial relationship of patient and consumer representatives with the health industry. Of these, two examined the proportion of public speakers in drug regulatory processes who have financial relationships; the proportions in the two studies were 25% and 19% respectively. Twenty studies (87%) addressed funding of patient and consumer organizations. The median proportion of organizations that reported funding from the health industry was 62% (IQR: 34%-69%) in questionnaire surveys, and 75% (IQR: 58%-85%) in surveys of their websites. Among organizations for which there was evidence of industry funding, a median proportion of 29% (IQR: 27%-44%) acknowledged on their websites receiving that funding. Conclusion Financial relationships between the health industry and patient and consumer representatives and their organizations are common and may not be disclosed. Stricter regulation on disclosure and management is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Expectations
Volume23
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)483-495
Number of pages13
ISSN1369-6513
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • conflict of interest
  • consumer
  • funding
  • patient representatives
  • systematic review
  • CONFLICTS-OF-INTEREST
  • DRUGS ADVISORY-COMMITTEE
  • PHARMACEUTICAL-INDUSTRY
  • ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS
  • US FOOD
  • FRONT GROUPS
  • CANCER
  • ENGAGEMENT
  • FRAMEWORK

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