Research News

Full disclosure of pharmaceutical payments to health professionals will be required in Ontario

September, 2017    |

Legislation recently released a statement that will name Ontario as the first province to require the full disclosure of companies that make payments to doctors.

According to Eric Hoskins, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the public disclosure will enable patients with more information in order to make better, and more informed, decisions when it comes to their health care. “We are the first jurisdiction in Canada to undertake this, so I think that leadership by Ontario is important on an issue that I think resonates with all Canadians,” says Hoskins.

Payments such as paid meals, engagement fees, and travel expenses will all be subject to disclosure, that will be available via an online database to be accessible for all.

Earlier this year, many pharmaceutical companies released data that showed payments of almost $50 million to health-care organizations, which can cause concerns about the promotion of drugs. However, Hoskins ensures that these conflicts aren’t negative. “What we want to do is want to…present information so that patients and health providers and the industry can have a better understanding of the nature of the transactions that are taking place.”

While doctors are not allowed to accept payments in exchange for meetings or gifts, they are allowed to accept teaching support that can aid their patients.

In terms of the minimum payment that will require disclosure, regulations are still being put forward to decide on a fair number.

“We had a substantial consultation over the course of the summer and there was clear and broad support for the direction that we’re taking and the support for this proposed legislation. We’ll have that opportunity as we go forward…to continue the dialogue and continue the consultation and learn from other jurisdictions, but also hear from stakeholders.”

Ontario will be following countries like the USA and Australia who have already been providing the transparency for patients.