DETAILING FINANCIAL LINKS OF DOCTORS AND MEDICAL COMPANIES
As a matter of facts, doctors and hospitals have financial relationships with health care manufacturing companies. These relationships can include money for research activities, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel.
These relationships with Health Care Professionals (including not only physicians, but also hospitals, clinics, clinicians, nurses as well as procurement and purchasing personnel working with the health care manufacturing companies) are essentials to pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. These relationships are often misunderstood and can create risks if managed improperly.
In order to report information about their financial relationships with physicians and hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, starting in mid 2013, agreed and committed to report publicly and disclose those information, and this is supported by Advamed and Eucomed.
On September 30th 2014, the U.S. Government released the first comprehensive disclosure of payments made by medical companies to doctors. Over the first five recorded months of 2013, medical companies and firms (pharma and devices) paid $3.5B to doctors to fund items such as research, consulting, royalties to hospitals to help develop products and fees for speaking engagements. Those $3.5B were split in two large categories: research funding and fees to doctors for consulting and other non-research services.
Research, for example, accounted for nearly $1.5 billion of payments during the reporting period. Companies spent an additional $302 million on royalties and licenses, money that is paid to doctors and teaching hospitals for their role in developing companies’ products. Drug and device makers say they regularly consult with doctors to help them decide where the need is the greatest, and doctors conduct clinical trials that help get products approved.
But also, Pharmaceutical and device makers paid doctors roughly $380 million in speaking and consulting fees, with some doctors receiving over half a million dollars each, during a five-month period last year.
These data are likely to raise questions about doctors’ financial interests, though the industry says that technical problems and data inaccuracies limit its value.
Published by Eric Lambert