Not before time too!
It appears HM Revenue & Customs [HMRC] are seeking information from pharmaceutical companies regarding payments made to doctors, psychiatrists, key opinion leaders etc. Finally, it appears, this 'dine and dash' world that exists between pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals is being probed by the relevant authority.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry [ABPI] has sent out a letter warning its members that the HMRC are making enquiries into payments made by the pharmaceutical industry [Fig 1]
It is my opinion that the ABPI do everything to protect the pharmaceutical industry. Earlier this year I highlighted how Britain's biggest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, seem to hide behind the ABPI Code of Practice with regard to answering patient queries about medication. In typical fashion, Glaxo, tell concerned patients who write to them about Seroxat withdrawal problems, to "talk to their doctor" - thus putting the onus of blame on someone else's shoulders. [Back Story]
The ABPI letter, which is publicly available, sees the association tell its members that statutory requests have been sent out to ABPI member companies by the HMRC who are asking for details of "gross payments to any medical professional [including dentists] for any type of service from which Pay As You Earn [PAYE] tax has been deducted."
The letter continues with:
According to HMRC "this may include [but is not limited to] assistance with clinical trials of new drugs, clinical investigations, consultancy, speaking at conferences and Honoria."
Way to go.
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