Transparency in the Danish Medicines Agency
As any other public authority in Denmark, the Danish Medicines Agency works under the framework of the Danish Public Administration Act and the Danish Access to Public Administration Files Act. These acts are to ensure openness and democratic control of the public administration. The Danish Medicines Agency has also introduced a special policy of openness, which is to nurture a culture where we are attentive and engage in dialogue with our surroundings and make information available to the public as far as we can. Read on to learn about our policy of openness.
We are open
To ensure transparency about what we do, we make our knowledge and information available to our surroundings, while respecting that much of the information we hold is confidential in regard to individual persons or companies.
We honour our obligations under the law of making information about medicines and medical devices available to the public. But we also want to do more than that by giving the public access to knowledge and information that we are not required to publish as we believe the exchange of information generates value for society as a whole.
On our website, we therefore publish strategies, information about the management of conflicts of interest, the declaration of interest forms of our directors and medicines inspectors, and more.
We respond to inquiries from citizens, healthcare professionals and companies thoroughly and as quickly as possible, and we prioritise being available to the media. We are open about our decisions and explain them – with due respect to the rules on professional secrecy and other confidentiality requirements, political processes, etc.
Anyone can request access to the documents of our work. We do not require certain formalities to be followed when requesting access to documents. A request for access to documents is generally processed within seven working days from receipt of the request, unless, in exceptional circumstances, this is not possible, e.g. because of the volume or complexity of the case. We endeavour to make the routine as easy and smooth as possible. We have therefore posted a simple e-form for applicants requesting access to documents, and we engage with the applicant to ensure he or she gets the information needed.
We open dialogue and engage our surroundings
Being attentive is one of our core values. We want to be rated on the extent to which:
- We welcome and respond to feedback – also when we are criticized
- We solve our tasks in dialogue with our surroundings
- We work continuously to make improvements
We want to engage continuously with our immediate surroundings – citizens, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, other public authorities and the media.
That is why we incorporate feedback in our work systematically – e.g. here on our website – and use our telephone hotline and our official profiles on social media to track what's going on and to join the debate.
We believe that it is through dialogue we learn from our surroundings – and the surroundings from us.
We say what we mean and join the debate
The employees of the Danish Medicines Agency have the right to freedom of speech like anyone else in Denmark. Employees of the Danish Medicines Agency can therefore engage in the public debate and make their opinions and views known – even about topics that concern the Danish Medicines Agency as long as they express their own views.
Expressing what we mean is more than a fundamental right. At the Danish Medicines Agency, we believe we all have an obligation to speak our minds and that debate and criticism should not be repressed.
We all have a responsibility to make sure criticism unfolds with respect for our surroundings and the tasks of the Danish Medicines Agency. No one should fear the consequences of raising questions or drawing attention to something that is not right.
We pursue a culture where we dare speak openly about our errors, uncertainty and concerns because it enables us to learn and do better. Debate about our work and workplace promotes knowledge and development. It sets the framework for a great place to work and for the best solutions for the Danish Medicines Agency and our surroundings.
All employees of the Danish Medicines Agency must fill out a declaration of interests form when starting service and then at least every year. This also applies to members of committees and councils and external consultants.
The declaration of interest form does not in itself represent an assessment or recognition of an employee’s impartiality. It declares which conflicts of interest the employee might have, e.g. in the form of previous positions held, shareholdings of the employee or a spouse, the workplace of the spouse or the like. The declaration of interest form is an important tool when the agency is to assess if a specific employee should be allowed to work on a case involving a specific pharmaceutical company.
All employees of the Danish Medicines Agency have an obligation to update their declaration of interest form whenever circumstances affecting their impartiality change over the year. Employees are also obliged to inform the agency if in any way of form they have a conflicting interest in relation to a case they are working on if that conflict of interest does not appear from the declaration of interest form.
Declaration of interest forms
To ensure transparency, we publish declaration of interest forms for all managers and medicines inspectors in the Danish Medicines Agency, as well as the declaration of interest forms for members of committees and councils of the Danish Medicines Agency. The declaration of interest forms are in Danish only.