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Mantsch, S. and Petersen, P. and Wild, C. (2016): Pharma: Disclosure of payments in Austria 2015. Rapid Assessment 007d.

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In the last few years, payments from the pharmaceutical industry to physicians and medical institutions are increasingly critically questioned, since evidence suggests that those payments are influencing the medical profession (e.g. in prescribing). To promote trust, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) responded with directives and regulations. The "Transparency Initiative" calls on member companies to disclose "monetary benefits to members of the professional circles and institutions" in year 2015. This information should be accessible to the general public at the respective websites of the pharmaceutical companies. The question that underlies this project report is the following: To what extent were Austrian physicians and medical institutions supported by pharmaceutical companies in 2015 and how transparent are they in the disclosure of the financial benefits?

In a systematic analysis, the websites of all PHARMIG member companies (115) were searched for information on financial allocations to Austrian physicians and medical institutions in 2015. For a total of 69 out of 115 PHARMIG member companies, cash-based benefits were found in 2015. 20 pharmaceutical companies stated that they had not made any financial contributions; the rest of the companies did not provide feedback on request. A total of 104.1 million euros from PHARMIG member companies to doctors and medical institutions as well as to clinical research and application observations were made in Austria in 2015. From this, clinical and post-marketing studies were financed with around 54 million euros (52% of the total financial expenditures), medical institutions and organisations received 27 million euros (26%) and physicians 22 million euros (22%). The results also show that Austrian pharmaceutical companies invested approximately 30 million euros in events (conferences, meetings), including the support of the events themselves, conference and participation fees as well as travel and accommodation costs. A total of 14 million euros was spent on services and advisory fees (e.g. on lectures given by physicians) and about 6 million euros for donations and funding.

The disclosure of payments by pharmaceutical companies to doctors and medical institutions in Austria is an important step towards greater transparency, but is still at an initial stage. The evaluation of the data from 2015 shows that the actual willingness to disclose financial grants, especially from physicians, is low and the individual disclosure rate (naming of the nominee) was only at an average of 21.9%. In contrast, the willingness to disclose payments from medical institutions by name (institutional) was significantly higher at 50.2%.

Item Type:Rapid Assessment
Keywords:Transparency, pharmaceutical companies, sponsoring, non-interventional studies, continuing medical education (CME)
Subjects:W Health professions > W 74-80 Medical economics. Health care costs
QV Pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacy > QV 701-737 Pharmacy
W Health professions > W 84 Health services. Quality of health care
Series Name:Rapid Assessment 007d
Deposited on:03 Nov 2016 10:42
Last Modified:22 Feb 2021 22:57

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