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Awareness and Perceptions among Members of a Japanese Cancer Patient Advocacy Group Concerning the Financial Relationships between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Physicians

Anju Murayama (), Yuki Senoo (), Kayo Harada (), Yasuhiro Kotera (), Hiroaki Saito (), Toyoaki Sawano (), Yosuke Suzuki (), Tetsuya Tanimoto () and Akihiko Ozaki ()
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Anju Murayama: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
Yuki Senoo: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
Kayo Harada: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
Yasuhiro Kotera: School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Hiroaki Saito: Department of Gastroenterology, Sendai Kousei Hospital, Sendai 980-0873, Japan
Toyoaki Sawano: Department of Surgery, Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki 972-8322, Japan
Yosuke Suzuki: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
Tetsuya Tanimoto: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
Akihiko Ozaki: Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan

IJERPH, 2022, vol. 19, issue 6, 1-24

Abstract: Objectives: Awareness and perceptions of financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) between pharmaceutical companies (Pharma) and healthcare domains remain unclear in Japanese cancer patient communities. This study aimed to assess awareness (RQ1), the influence of FCOI on physician trustworthiness (RQ2), and their perception (RQ3) among the Japanese cancer patient advocacy group members. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a self-administered survey was conducted with a Japanese cancer patient advocacy group between January and February 2019. The main outcome measures included awareness and perceptions of physician–Pharma interactions, their impact on physician trustworthiness, and attitudes towards FCOI among medical and other professions. Furthermore, we performed thematic analyses on the comments which responders provided in the surveys. Results: Among the 524 contacted members, 96 (18.3%) completed the questionnaire, including 69 (77.5%) cancer patients. In RQ1, most of the respondents were aware of physician–Pharma interactions, although the extent differed based on the nature of the interaction. Furthermore, the respondents mainly considered these interactions influential on clinical practice (RQ2) and agreed to the need for further regulation of physician–Pharma interactions (QR3). In qualitative analyses ( n = 56), we identified the 4 following themes: perception towards the FCOI (Theme 1), concerns about the respondent’s treatment (Theme 2), reason of physician–Pharma interactions (Theme 3), and possible solutions from the patient perspective (Theme 4). Conclusions: Most respondents were generally aware of physician–Pharma-associated FCOI and perceived them negatively. Additionally, participants appeared supportive of further FCOI regulation to protect patient-centred care. Abbreviations: FCOI—financial conflicts of interest; United States—US; Pharma—pharmaceutical companies; RQ—research question.

Keywords: conflict of interest; ethics; Japan; financial relationship; patient-centred care; pharmaceutical industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I I1 I3 Q Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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