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Article

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

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Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan
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School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8574, Japan
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School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
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Department of Gastroenterology, Sendai Kousei Hospital, Sendai 980-0873, Japan
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Department of Surgery, Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki 972-8322, Japan
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Department of Internal Medicine, Navitas Clinic Kawasaki, Tokyo 210-0007, Japan
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Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki 972-8322, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hengjin Dong and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063478
Received: 1 January 2022 / Revised: 2 March 2022 / Accepted: 11 March 2022 / Published: 15 March 2022
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: conflict of interest; ethics; Japan; financial relationship; patient-centred care; pharmaceutical industry conflict of interest; ethics; Japan; financial relationship; patient-centred care; pharmaceutical industry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Murayama, A.; Senoo, Y.; Harada, K.; Kotera, Y.; Saito, H.; Sawano, T.; Suzuki, Y.; Tanimoto, T.; Ozaki, A. Awareness and Perceptions among Members of a Japanese Cancer Patient Advocacy Group Concerning the Financial Relationships between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Physicians. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063478

AMA Style

Murayama A, Senoo Y, Harada K, Kotera Y, Saito H, Sawano T, Suzuki Y, Tanimoto T, Ozaki A. Awareness and Perceptions among Members of a Japanese Cancer Patient Advocacy Group Concerning the Financial Relationships between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Physicians. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(6):3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063478

Chicago/Turabian Style

Murayama, Anju, Yuki Senoo, Kayo Harada, Yasuhiro Kotera, Hiroaki Saito, Toyoaki Sawano, Yosuke Suzuki, Tetsuya Tanimoto, and Akihiko Ozaki. 2022. "Awareness and Perceptions among Members of a Japanese Cancer Patient Advocacy Group Concerning the Financial Relationships between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Physicians" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 6: 3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063478

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