Kept in the dark: Scotland rejects “sunshine” legislation | The BMJ

8 April, 2019

Dear all,

BMJ's editorials from last week focused on Scotland's rejection of the 'sunshine' legislation, which could enable the creation of a searchable record of all payments to healthcare professionals from the Pharma:

As J. Ross argues: "The decision is a lost opportunity for Scottish citizens to have transparent information on the financial relationships between industry and their doctors and other healthcare professionals."

I highlight some excerpts:

"Although greater transparency may not by itself curtail potentially improper relationships, sunshine legislation has provided other clear benefits to the medical profession. Journal editors, peer reviewers, and readers of the medical literature have been able to use the database to verify the disclosures of authors of research studies, commentaries, review articles, and guidelines."

"In addition, the data have enabled investigation of associations between payments and prescribing. Studies have consistently found that physicians who received payments from the drug industry, even for small amounts, were more likely to prescribe branded medications associated with the payments than lower cost generics."

Transparency and healthcare-related information is important at all levels.

Kind regards,

Carla Rodrigues.


Carla F. Rodrigues

Research Associate

Population Health Sciences

Bristol Medical School | University of Bristol

PhD Candidate

Department of Anthropology

AISSR | University of Amsterdam

Latest publication:

Beyond health: medicines, food supplements, energetics and the commodification of self-performance in Maputo, Sociology of Health & Illness, Early View.

HIFA profile: Carla F Rodrigues is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences Research, University of Amsterdam (where she lives currently) and a researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon. Her main research interests are Sociology of Health, Education and Culture, specifically lay rationalities in health; therapeutic pluralism; and pharmaceuticals consumption. She has been conducting fieldwork in Portugal and Mozambique. She is a member of the HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines. AT