Groups rarely disclose funding: study
An American Journal of Public Health study revealed that only one out of four health-related advocacy groups acknowledges industry funding on its website. Rarer still are organizations that disclose exact funding amounts.
The study drew from the Eli Lilly grant registry, which listed $3.2 million given to 188 advocacy groups during the first two quarters of 2007, or about 10% of the firm's total grant giving. Cross-referencing those names on the web, they found 161 groups had websites, and 40 noted receipt of contributions from Lilly on their sites; only 10% acknowledged Lilly as a grant event sponsor.
Considering the groups are “among the most influential and trusted stakeholders in US health policy,” it's reasonable to expect full disclosure about grantors, authors from Columbia University wrote. Organizations are often seen testifying before legislative or regulatory committees to ask for increased support of medical research, lobbying for drug coverage or advocating for FDA approval—goals that overlap with those of the industry.
The Sunshine Act provisions in the US health reform law requiring companies to report payments to physicians should be amended to also require them to report payments to non-profits, the researchers wrote. Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT), the co-sponsors of the law, told The New York Times that they would consider pushing for such an amendment.