Danish Medicines Agency strengthens its policy on conflicts of interest

05 July 2019

New staff members of the Danish Medicines Agency are not permitted to own shares in pharmaceutical or medical device companies. Currently employed staff will be asked to divest any shares within two years. This appears from the agency’s internal policy on conflicts of interest, which enters into force on 4 July 2019.

As of 4 July 2019, new employees of the Danish Medicines Agency will be asked to divest any shares they hold in pharmaceutical and medical device companies before joining. Currently employed staff will need to sell any shareholdings no later than two years after they have been given notice. This appears from the new internal policy on conflicts of interest introduced by the Danish Medicines Agency.

“With this tightening, we wish to send a clear signal to the world that the Danish Medicines Agency is disconnected from economic interests of pharmaceutical and medical device companies. At the same time, we are bringing our conflicts of interest rules closer to those of the European Medicines Agency,” said Thomas Senderovitz, Director General of the Danish Medicines Agency.

If an employee inherits shares in a pharmaceutical or medical device company, these must also be divested.

“Our policy on conflicts of interests is already strict. This latest move is intended to support that we are independent of economic interests in practice, but most importantly, we want to send a signal to the world. The population’s confidence in the authorities is crucial, and it is what we considered most important in our decision to change the rules,” said Thomas Senderovitz.

Openness and transparency

Several drug regulatory authorities around the world publish their executives’ and inspectors’ declarations of interest forms on their websites as does the Danish Medicines Agency as part of its policy of openness (in Danish only). See the Danish Medicines Agency’s list of declaration of interest forms of executives and inspectors (in Danish only).

Last year, the agency also published detailed information about how it handles conflicts of interest in practice.

“We have deliberately chosen to prioritise the area. A medicines agency joining Europe’s best in class in 2019 must be open, transparent and must make clear statements and signals”, adds Thomas Senderovitz.

 

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