Lilly may extend grant disclosure policy globally

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Eli Lilly said it is studying the feasibility of extending its grants disclosure policy globally and could do so by next year.

Publishing the data on worldwide education grants and charitable contributions would complement the Indianapolis drug firm's decision last May to publicize grants given to US organizations. Lilly posts the information on its educational grants portal on a quarterly basis.

Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel said the firm is “working hard to evaluate the legal, regulatory and other considerations” related to disclosing the information worldwide, targeting 2008 as a possible timeframe.

He made the statement in a letter to the group Essential Action, which is leading a broad coalition of public health and consumer organizations leaning on Big Pharma to disclose all of its charitable and educational grants and gifts. Arguing that such funding influences physician prescribing, the coalition said disclosure “doesn't cure this problem, but it is a start.”

So far, the only company set to follow Lilly onto the grant disclosure bandwagon is Pfizer. In April its Medical Education Policy Committee recommended the adoption of a policy on disclosure of educational grants. The company will begin reporting grants given to US organizations in 2008.

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