Support for the transparency initiative of the FSA by the publisher of the Allergo Journal
In the editorial of its current edition, entitled "Trust through Transparency", the Allergo Journal welcomes the transparency initiative of the FSA. Both of the newspaper's authors and publishers, Prof. Dr. Thilo Jakob and Prof. Dr. Hans F. Merk, "wholeheartedly" support the activities of the FSA and are eager to see how the Code of Conduct will be implemented in the years to come.
In their article, both publishers of the journal have very positive words to say about the work of the FSA. They explain that, as of the beginning of 2015, the FSA member companies are documenting the payments in kind that they make to physicians, and this information will be published on their websites starting in 2016 – a routine and mandatory practice for years in the United States. The fact that in Germany, the physicians involved must first provide consent, is the crux of the initiative for Jakob and Merk, as they anticipate an initial critical stance among many physicians. At the same time, both point out the opportunities associated with the publication for physicians, for example, that thanks to disclosure, any appearance of a conflict of interest can be prevented from the beginning.
The authors suggested that, like their industry partners, they, too, as a professional organization, ought to become involved in these issues, in order to regulate potential conflict of interest. In doing so, self-imposed directives for participation in the transparency code of conduct have a role model effect for other physicians. The same regulations also ultimately apply to the disclosure of conflicts of interests for publications in the Allergo Journal, as Jakob and Merk report based on their own experience.
That is why the authors have a very clear standpoint concerning the transparency initiative of the FSA: "As the publishers of this trade journal, as well as academic cooperation partners of various firms, we wholeheartedly support these activities. We hope to thus foster the confidence in the public at large that collaboration between physicians and industry partners takes place for the benefit of all and does not constitute any undue influence."
You can find the complete article in the Allergo Journal, No. 02/2015.