Expert Committee for Transparency and Independence in Medicine

The aim of the expert committee for transparency and independence of the DCGMA is to promote the independence of doctors. It develops and disseminates strategies to prevent and manage conflicts of interest involving expert opinion in the various organs and bodies of self-government.

Conflicts of interest are defined as a set of conditions in which professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a patient's welfare or the validity of research) tends to be unduly influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain) (Thompson DF, N Engl J Med 1993; 329: 573–6). Conflicts of interest can be caused by various conditions, such as

  • financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or health insurance companies
  • external funding of research
  • membership in professional societies, professional political groups or adherence to particular disciplines (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy vs. psychodynamic therapy)
  • remuneration incentives or an employment contract.

Conflicts of interest may jeopardize the quality of patient care as well as the integrity of medical research, the objectivity of professional education and public confidence in medicine.

The expert committee seeks to

  • promote a culture of scientific independence within the medical profession
  • support the development of an adequate understanding of conflicts of interest in the medical profession
  • establish recommendations for the standardized recording and disclosing of conflicts of interest
  • develop proposals for avoiding conflicts of interest
  • produce proposals for a uniform and equitable handling of conflicts of interest in decisions, opinions, etc. of the respective committees.

Ordinary and extraordinary members of the DCGMA form the expert committee, chaired by Prof. Dr. Klaus Lieb. The expert committee was established by a resolution of the Board of the German Medical Association on March 14, 2014.


Drug Commission of the German Medical Association
Expert Committee for Transparency and Independence of the DCGMA
Herbert-Lewin-Platz 1
10623 Berlin

Phone: 030 400456-503
Fax: 030 400456-555

Dr. med. Gisela Schott, MPH
Claudia Drees

Introductional literature to the topic of conflicts of interest