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What a tangled web we weave? An investigation into the collaboration of healthcare professionals and ‘Big Pharma'

Williams, R. D.



On the 30th June 2016, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) published a list on their website titled ‘Disclosure UK’. The list contains information on payments received by HCPs from pharmaceutical companies. With 50,2083 entries on Disclosure UK amounting to 364 million pounds, the extent to which doctors have been ‘untangled’ from drug companies over the last 14 years is open to debate.
This paper presents the findings of in depth interviews with 10 individuals on the list. Of the HCPs interviewed, 6 were psychiatrists, 2 pharmacists, 1 neuroscientist and 1 a healthcare economist. The interviews were conducted as part of my PhD research investigating the marketing of antidepressants and therefore the majority of participants had received funds from pharmaceutical companies for consultancy work related to mental health drugs. Disclosure UK has been analysed using quantitative methods by the BMJ. This analysis has been crucial in providing a digestible snapshot of the contents of the database. However, this research represents the first attempt to go beyond the figures to understand the motives and experiences of HCPs on the industry payroll. Tentative analysis of these interviews in addition to regulatory documents suggests that whilst doctors have yet to ‘untangle’ from pharma, the way in which they interact with pharmaceutical companies has changed for the better


Williams, R. D. (2017, July). What a tangled web we weave? An investigation into the collaboration of healthcare professionals and ‘Big Pharma'. Paper presented at CMS 2017

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name CMS 2017
Start Date Jul 3, 2017
End Date Jul 5, 2017
Acceptance Date Jul 4, 2017
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords corruption, healthcare, collaboration, pharmaceutical industry
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Critical Management Studies