The current issue of the British Medical Journal debates the sponsorship of patient groups by drug companies in a "Head to Head".
Alastair Kent argues in favour of accepting money from the drug companies stating that not accepting sponsorship will limit the effectiveness of patient groups.
Barbara Mintzes argues against accepting money from the drug companies stating that, in accepting the money, the independence of the patient group is undermined.
The issue of sponsorship will always be a topic for debate. In the meantime, all patient groups should declare full details of sponsorship and provide easy access to this information. This transparent approach would improve confidence in the independence of the patient group and also allow individuals to assess any potential for bias.
Action: Clinicians should consider the transparency and bias of patient groups before implementing any recommendations made by these groups.