Decoding disclosure: comparing conflict of interest policy among the United States, France, and Australia

Quinn Grundy*, Roojin Habibi, Adrienne Shnier, Christopher Mayes, Wendy Lipworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


“Sunshine” policy, aimed at making financial ties between health professionals and industry publicly transparent, has recently gone global. Given that transparency is not the sole means of managing conflict of interest, and is unlikely to be effective on its own, it is important to understand why disclosure has emerged as a predominant public policy solution, and what the effects of this focus on transparency might be. We used Carol Bacchi's problem-questioning approach to policy analysis to compare the Sunshine policies in three different jurisdictions, the United States, France and Australia. We found that transparency had emerged as a solution to several different problems including misuse of tax dollars, patient safety and public trust. Despite these differences in the origins of disclosure policies, all were underpinned by the questionable assumption that informed consumers could address conflicts of interest. We conclude that, while transparency reports have provided an unprecedented opportunity to understand the reach of industry within healthcare, policymakers should build upon these insights and begin to develop policy solutions that address systemic commercial influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Comparative analysis
  • Conflict of interest
  • Disclosure
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Transparency


Dive into the research topics of 'Decoding disclosure: comparing conflict of interest policy among the United States, France, and Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this