The relationship between industry and medical societies has been widely studied by the international literature and has been recognized as a potential condition for biases and conflicts of interest. A recent study analysed the relationship between industry and medical societies through the assessment of the Italian medical societies’ websites, finding some relevant correlations. Despite this scenario, little is known about the relationship between medical societies and industry in Europe.

The aim of the work conducted by Euronet MRPH is to extend the Italian research to seven European countries (Croatia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain). The study is important because it is a first such project addressing the conflict of interest between medical societies and industry in a comparative European setting. In addition to its scholarly contribution that will enhance the understanding of the nature of this relationship, the study has implications for the development of policy regulating the relationship between industry and medical societies, from disclosure requirements, to restriction on what industries can fund, among others. The working group already developed a structured flowchart to systematically produce comprehensive lists of all the medical societies in the included countries.
Up to date, a significant effort has been done in assessing the differences between the national definitions of medical societies and, so far, a heterogeneous framework emerged.

Stefano Guicciardi
Public Health Resident, Italy