French health care companies have faced hard times over the past
months with their new transparency obligations. They have been
required to declare the equivalent of 18 months (!) of agreements
and benefits in a very short period of time.
They were scheduled to disclose this information to the unique
state portal the French government had announced, but which
ultimately was not in place in time.
As a consequence, the government issued "transitory
provisions," according to which health care companies acting
in France had to disclose their information:
To the National Medical Association (there are seven of
On a dedicated company website some international companies had
to put in place on purpose
As a cherry on the cake, the French medical association set up
its own template, making compliance again more difficult. Without
surprise, as of today, only half of the declarations transmitted
were compliant with the French Medical Association's
Things should be changing now as the unique state portal is
finally up and running. After a first registration, disclosure of
information should become easier.
Registration and authentication
When first connecting to the unique state portal, companies will
have to register. They will be required to provide different
details such as information on their headquarters, company
registration, and contact information, as well as the procedure an
HCP will have to follow in order to modify the displayed data.
(Note that the transparency disclosure being mandatory, no right of
opposition is granted to the HCP as data owner, contrary to general
principle of data protection.)
After this first registration, a unique pair user ID/password
will be assigned to the company.
Information will remain available on the public state portal for
five years, but will be securely stored by the government for 10
Disclosure of information
This new state portal seems to be more "customer
friendly" as three possibilities are set up for the disclosure
and transfer of data:
An online script can be filled in online
A specific formatted document can be transferred directly to the
An automatic sending through a web service can also be set
The transmission is deemed secure and done on an https website.
The unique website will in addition have to comply with the French
Data Protection Authority-CNIL's provisions, and avoid any
indexing by external search engines.
The specific format that has been set up for the unique state
portal is quite similar to the one already established by the
French Medical Association. It will almost allow companies to
continue working on their previous template.
This unique state portal will be officially launched April 1,
2014 at the latest. It is already accessible to companies at the
Health care companies do not have to continue to add information
on their own dedicated transparency website that will have to be
maintained for the data disclosed during the "transitory
However, this new state portal should not make companies forget
that they need to comply with data protection regulation regarding
their obligation to inform the HCPs they are contracting with or
paying advantages to, that they are due to disclose data in that
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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