PAYMENTS made by drugs companies to NHS staff should be recorded on a central public register, a doctor has argued.

The Scottish Government should follow the lead of the US where details of such payments are recorded for anyone to see, Dr Peter Gordon said.

France and Australia are also considering legislation as a result of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which came into force in the US at the start of August.

Dr Gordon said Scotland should "lead the way" by setting up its own scheme through which payments to doctors and other health staff in the NHS are registered.

He has put forward a petition calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland and create a searchable record of all payments, including payments in kind, from pharmaceutical companies.

Research using freedom of information shows that "none of the 22 NHS boards have completely open access to a routinely populated central register for recording interests", Dr Gordon told Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee. He said a few NHS boards had a register.