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Chapitre d'ouvrage

The Politics of Industrial Transparency. Constructing a Database on the Pharmaceutical Funding of the Health Sector

Abstract : This chapter examines the politics of transparency through the case of a government website that discloses the potential conflicts of interest (COIs) between pharmaceutical companies and health professionals. Since the late 2000s, several US and European initiatives have endeavored to meet the objective of transparency by putting together large publicly accessible databases that promise to prevent undue influence and misdemeanor by recording, classifying, and disclosing millions of transactions between firms and health professionals. France's Transparence Santé (Transparency in Healthcare) database, officially launched in 2014, is one of the first examples of these new tools. In the aftermath of a major public health scandal, disclosing all financial interests was seen as an obvious response. This chapter draws on interviews, observations, and analysis of the gray literature to trace the origins of the database, study the challenges faced by its developers at the Ministry of Health, and examine the effects of this “transparency device”. We show that the construction of the database proved highly complex, especially given the time pressure, which may explain some of the issues with its quality. Despite its flaws, a group of open data activists have endeavored to improve its operation and to deliver on the promise of transparency, turning its data into a resource for journalists. In sum, this chapter argues that such disclosure devices embody a form of “industrial transparency” that allows the neoliberal state to regulate the private sector at a marginal level, limiting its own investment while outsourcing the responsibility for processing and monitoring the disclosed data.
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Contributeur : Henri Boullier Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : jeudi 9 septembre 2021 - 14:29:10
Dernière modification le : mercredi 17 novembre 2021 - 12:34:05


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Henri Boullier, Jérôme Greffion. The Politics of Industrial Transparency. Constructing a Database on the Pharmaceutical Funding of the Health Sector. Boris Hauray; Henri Boullier; Jean-Paul Gaudillière; Hélène Michel. Conflict of Interest and Medicine. Knowledge, Practices, and Mobilizations, Routledge, pp.147-164, 2021, 9780367751159. ⟨10.4324/9781003161035-7⟩. ⟨halshs-03339448⟩



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