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Published, December 8th 2009

He who pays the piper calls the tune?

This advisory report examines the influence of financiers (especially industrial financiers) on the development of medical knowledge, and the ethical questions to which this gives rise. This also especially involves deciding on which fields of knowledge need to be developed and the actual development of that knowledge through research. The words ‘sponsoring’ and ‘sponsor’ are used below to refer to research ‘funding’ and the ‘financier’.


  • Prof. J.A. Knottnerus, President of the Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, chairman
  • Prof. J.K.M. Gevers, Professor of health law, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Vice-chairman
  • Prof. J.C.J. Dute, Professor of health law, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. R.P.T.M. Grol, Professor of quality promotion and control in general practice, St Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen
  • Prof. G.R.J. de Groot, Professor of social health care insurance law, VU University, Amsterdam
  • R.M. den Hartog-van Ter Tholen, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Hague, observer
  • Prof. G.A. den Hartogh, Professor of ethics, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. A.C. Hendriks, Professor of health law, Leiden University/health lawyer, Equal Treatment Commission, Utrecht
  • Prof. H. Jochemsen, general manager of Prisma, Houten/endowed Professor of reformational philosophy, Wageningen University
  • Dr. W.L.M. Kramer, paediatric surgeon/paediatric traumatologist, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre, Utrecht
  • Prof. F.E. van Leeuwen, Professor of epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
  • Prof. J. Legemaate, Professor of health law, VU University, Amsterdam/health lawyer, KNMG, Utrecht
  • Dr. G.C.M.L. Page-Christiaens, gynaecologist, University Medical Centre Utrecht
  • Prof. MA Verkerk, Professor of medical ethics, University Medical Centre Groningen
  • Prof. M. de Visser, Vice-president of the Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague
  • Prof. G.M.W.R. de Wert, Professor of biomedical ethics, Maastricht University
  • A. Wijbenga, executive director of the Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, advisor
  • Prof. D.L. Willems, Professor of medical ethics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr. C.J. van de Klippe, Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, secretary
  • Dr. H.W.J.M. Wijsbek, Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, secretary

Dr. C.J. van de Klippe acted as author/secretary for this advisory report.

Interviewed experts

  • Dr. D. Bijl, chief editor of Geneesmiddelenbulletin
  • Prof. H.R. Büller, Professor of internal medicine, head of Vascular Medicine department, Amsterdam University Medical Centre
  • Prof. A. Cohen, Director Centre for Human Drug Research
  • Dr. M.J.H. Kenter, General Secretary of CCMO
  • Prof. J. Lubsen, emeritus Professor of the theory of clinical conduct, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, scientific researcher with considerable experience in cooperating with industry
  • Dr. R.W. van Olden, medical director of GlaxoSmithKline
  • Prof. F.R. Rosendaal, Professor of clinical epidemiology haemostasis and thrombosis, University of Leiden
  • Dr. C. Smit, patient representative
  • Prof. J.P. Vandenbroucke, Professor of clinical epidemiology, University of Leiden

This publication may be cited as follows

Health Council of the Netherlands. He who pays the piper calls the tune? Monitoring Report Ethics and Health, 2009/3. The Hague: Centre for Ethics and Health, 2009. Publicatienumber Health Council of the Netherlands: 2009/18E. ISBN 978-90-78823-12-4