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British Doctors Lack Transparency Where Big Pharma Pays

  • Researchers urge Europe to follow U.S. on tracking payments
  • France, Portugal shed more light on financial ties than U.K.
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Half of British doctors who received payments from the pharmaceutical industry last year remained anonymous -- prompting a call for greater transparency from drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc.

About 128 million pounds ($169 million) flowed to medical professionals or organizations in consulting fees, travel expenses, donations and other items, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said Friday. Disclosing which doctors got them is tricky due to data-privacy laws, leaving Astra unable to name the recipients of most of the money. Rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc said it could name them all.