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BY THE DUTCH DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY: AP Critics The Public Transparency Register For Healthcare

BY THE DUTCH DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY: AP critics the public Transparency Register for Healthcare

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Doctors may not be influenced by payments from manufacturers when choosing which medicines or aids to prescribe to their patients. To strengthen compliance with this, a bill has been drafted for a mandatory public Transparency Register for Healthcare. In this register, every transaction between manufacturer and doctor of 50 euros or more is registered. The Dutch Personal Data Authority (AP) has serious doubts about the usefulness of this public register. This is what the AP writes in an advisory report to the Lower House.

According to the AP, inclusion in the Transparency Register for Health Care significantly violates the doctor’s fundamental right to data protection.

Such a listing does not necessarily mean that there is a prohibited payment, although this image can easily be created.

Furthermore, it is unclear why a public register is necessary in this case.

Unclear Necessity

The purpose of the register is not at issue for the AP. However, it is rather uncertain whether the public nature of the register will effectively contribute to this goal.

The explanatory memorandum to the bill motivates the importance of public access with reference to the benefit for journalists and patients. But it does not answer the question of how they can use the register to expose prohibited payments.

After all, it is unlikely that payments are reported that are clearly prohibited. The register therefore mainly provides insight into cases that are not necessarily problematic.

Moreover, patients and journalists are not really in a position to judge these cases properly, because these persons – unlike the IGJ – usually do not have access to the underlying contracts between manufacturers and doctors that could show the prohibited character.

The explanation also does not answer the question why a public register is necessary in addition to the – possibly to be intensified – supervision by the IGJ.

The AP therefore advises to further substantiate the need for public access to the register. Or to give only the IGJ access to the register.

SOURCE: AUTORITA’ PER LA PROTEZIONE DEI DATI DEI PAESI BASSI – AP

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