Mapping the Donations of Pharma Companies in Greece: The Case of Scientific Societies

Published: May 6, 2023
Pharmaceutical Companies Donations Scientific Societies Transparency Accountability
Souzana Chatzivasileiou
Alkinoos Emmanouil-Kalos
Iris Panagiota Efthymiou
Dimitris Batakis
Athanassios Vozikis

Pharmaceutical companies are major donors to medical-related civil society organizations worldwide, which has raised concerns about their influence on public health policy. The support provided includes financial donations, in-kind contributions and collaborations in research and awareness initiatives. However, there is a lack of transparency when it comes to these donations. While they contribute to the ability of recipient organizations to meet their operational needs and to conduct research, they also raise questions about the role of pharmaceutical companies in the formulation of public health policies. This paper aims to map the donations made by pharmaceutical companies to scientific societies in Greece, examining the nature and extent of the support provided, as well as examining the impact of these donations on the scientific community. Finally, recommendations are provided on how transparency and accountability can be strengthened. Further research is needed to understand the full extent of these donations and their impact on public health governance in Greece.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Research Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. (2021). Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry 2021. Available at:
Bagire, V., Aosa, E. & Awino, Z. B. (2014). A Synthesis of the Strategic Orientations and NGO Legitimacy in the African Economic Setting. Journal of Business and Economics, 5(8), 1358-1373.
Ball, D. E., Tisocki, K., & Herxheimer, A. (2006). Advertising and disclosure of funding on patient organisation websites: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 6(1), 1-12.
EFPIA (2017). Working together with patient groups. European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Asociations.
Fabbri, A., Swandari, S., Lau, E., Vitry, A., & Mintzes, B. (2019). Pharmaceutical Industry Funding of Health Consumer Groups in Australia: A Cross-sectional Analysis. International Journal of Health Services, 49(2), 273–293.
Gellert, G. A. (1996). Non-Governmental Organizations in International Health: Past Successes, Future Challenges. International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 11, 19-31.
Government Gazette of the Hellenic Republic 3958 B’. Available at [in Greek]:
Government Gazette of the Hellenic Republic 4138 B'. Available at [in Greek]:
Hawkes, N. (2016). Doctors getting biggest payments from drug companies don’t declare them on new website. BMJ, 354, i3679.
Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (2020). SFEE CODE OF ETHICS. Halandri: SFEE.
Hemminki, E., Toiviainen, H. K., & Vuorenkoski, L. (2010). Co-operation between patient organisations and the drug industry in Finland. Social science & medicine, 70(8), 1171-1175.
Herxheimer, A. (2003). Relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and patients’ organisations. BMJ, 326(7400), 1208–1210.
Kang, S. Y., Bai, G., Karas, L., & Anderson, G. F. (2019). Pharmaceutical Industry Support of US Patient Advocacy Organizations: An International Context. American Journal of Public Health, 109(4), 559–561.
Kent, A. (2007). Should patient groups accept money from drug companies? Yes. Bmj, 334(7600), 934-934.
Kritas, D., Tzagkarakis, S., Atsipoulianaki, Z., & Sidiropoulos, S. (2020). The contribution of CSR during the covid-19 period in Greece: A step forward. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 1(1), 238-243.
Lexchin, J. (2019). Association between commercial funding of Canadian patient groups and their views about funding of medicines: An observational study. PLOS ONE, 14(2), e0212399.
McCoy, M. S., Carniol, M., Chockley, K., Urwin, J. W., Emanuel, E. J., & Schmidt, H. (2017). Conflicts of Interest for Patient-Advocacy Organizations. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(9), 880–885.
McGann, J. & Johnstone, M. (2006). The Power Shift and the NGO Credibility Crisis. Global Policy Forum. Available at:
Mulinari, S., Vilhelmsson, A., Rickard, E., & Ozieranski, P. (2020). Five years of pharmaceutical industry funding of patient organisations in Sweden: Cross-sectional study of companies, patient organisations and drugs. PloS one, 15(6).
Nissanholtz-Gannot, R., & Yankellevich, A. (2017). Regulating the relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies: a qualitative and descriptive analysis of the impact of Israeli legislation. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research,6(1), 1-10.
Ozaki, A., Saito, H., Senoo, Y., Sawano, T., Shimada, Y., Kobashi, Y., ... & Tanimoto, T. (2020). Overview and transparency of non-research payments to healthcare organizations and healthcare professionals from pharmaceutical companies in Japan: Analysis of payment data in 2016. Health Policy, 124(7), 727-735.
Ozieranski, P., Pitter, J. G., Rickard, E., Mulinari, S., & Csanadi, M. (2022). A ‘patient–industry complex’? Investigating the financial dependency of UK patient organisations on drug company funding. Sociology of Health & Illness, 44(1), 188–210.
Ozieranski, P., Rickard, E., & Mulinari, S. (2019). Exposing drug industry funding of UK patient organisations. British Medical Journal, 365, 1-9.
Pendleton, C. (2016). Disclosing payments from pharma companies. The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 98(5), 200-201.
Rickard, E., Ozieranski, P. & Mulinari, S. (2008). Evaluating the transparency of pharmaceutical company disclosure of payments to patient organisations in the UK. Health Policy. 123(12), 1244-1250.
Sapra, R., & Dhaliwal, P. (2021). A blockchain solution for the privacy of patients’ medical data. In Machine Learning, Big Data, and IoT for Medical Informatics (pp. 327-347). Academic Press.
Schneider, J. L., Wilson, A., & Rosenbeck, J. M. (2010). Pharmaceutical companies and sustainability: an analysis of corporate reporting. Benchmarking: An international journal, 17(3), 421-434.
Sidiropoulos, S. (2023). Empowerment, Transparency, and Commercialisation: Donations from the Pharmaceutical Industry to Patient Organisations in Greece (2013-2020). In: Advances in Health and Disease. Volume 65. Nova Science Publisher.
Sidiropoulos, S., Emmanouil-Kalos, A., Kanakaki M-E, and Vozikis, A. (2021). The Rise of NGOs in Global Health Governance and Credibility Issues in the 21st Century. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 2(2), 278-288.
Sidiropoulos, S., Valachea, S., Kanakaki, M. E., Emmanouil-Kalos, A., Tsimogiannis, G., & Vozikis, A. (2022). Development Assistance for Health and the Role of NGOs in the Africa Region: the Case of the Central African Republic. Journal of Regional Socio-Economic Issues, 12(1), 44-58.
Smith, M. (2010). The Importance of Sustainability in International Public Health NGOs. In: Gaist, P. A. (ed.), Igniting the Power of Community: The Role of CBOs and NGOs in Global Public Health, Chapter 3, New York: Springer.
Sotiropoulos, D. A., & Bourikos, D. (2014). Economic crisis, social solidarity and the voluntary sector in Greece. Journal of Power, Politics & Governance, 2(2), 33-53.
Taylor, J., and Denegri, S. (2017). Industry links with patient organisations. BMJ, 356. doi:
Trayer, J., Rowbotham, N. J., Boyle, R. J., & Smyth, A. R. (2022). Industry influence in healthcare harms patients: myth or maxim?. Breathe, 18(2).
Tzagkarakis, S. I., Douki, S., & Sidiropoulos, S. (2023). The policy responses of the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to pandemic and major epidemic crises since 1921. Studia Humanitatis Journal, 3(1).
Vajinepalli, S. (2019). The Hidden Manipulation: The Influence of Pharmaceutical Companies on Physicians and Researchers. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.