Side Meetings


Confronting Hidden Commercial Forces Influencing Policymakers and Healthcare Providers: Rethinking Governance, Policy and Advocacy


  • 14:00 - 17:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : Lotus Suite 13

  • Contact Person : Nina Van Der Mark,

  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Aga Khan University

Healthcare providers and policymakers hold positions of trust and responsibility to act in the best interest of patients, and public health more broadly.  However, policymakers and healthcare providers’ decisions are often influenced by their connections with commercial entities. This can cause significant challenges for patients and healthcare systems.

Because of the hidden nature of most connections that unduly influence policymakers and healthcare providers, they have been poorly interrogated and managed. Traditional approaches to regulation, such as public disclosure of gifts that could lead to conflicts of interest or self-regulation through professional bodies, have had variable impacts across settings. Therefore, there is growing recognition of the need to explore innovative alternatives, especially for countries with under-resourced regulatory institutions. 

In this side meeting, we seek to identify ways to reform our approaches to governance and research to address hidden connections and vested interests influencing healthcare providers and policymakers. This interactive side meeting will have case studies illustrating practical governance challenges, facilitate a structured discussion between diverse stakeholder groups (including civil society, multilateral organizations, funders and researchers) and end with a panel discussion to agree on concrete actions.

  • Increasing understanding of and prioritisation of commercial forces in healthcare by funders, civil society, academics and multilaterals
  • Sharing best practices and case studies on addressing governance challenges
  • Identifying next steps to accelerate progress on this issue that can be taken forward by funders, multilaterals, advocacy groups and researchers.