Why do pharmaceutical companies pay doctors?

Why do pharmaceutical companies pay doctors?

Why do pharmaceutical companies pay doctors?

Pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors and other healthcare professionals considerable sums over the years. Studies have found a correlation between these payments and which drugs doctors are most likely to prescribe.

Time and time again, studies show that doctors who receive money from a particular company related to a specific drug are considerably more likely to prescribe it than their counterparts who have not. The pattern can be seen throughout healthcare and relates to many major drugs and patient conditions, including asthma and diabetes.

Among the 50 most prescribed drugs, ProPublica found consistent correlations. For example, the drug Linzess is used to treat severe constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Allergan and Ironwood, the pharma company that manufactures Linzess, paid nearly $29 million to doctors, primarily through meals and speaker fees related to Linzess. In 2016, the doctors who received these payments wrote 45% more prescriptions for the drug than those who didn’t.

Of course, these findings were not just relegated to Linzess. The study also showed higher prescription rates for drugs like Mybetriq, with 64% more prescriptions. Similarly, Restasis, a drug to treat dry eyes, saw doctors who received payments related to the drug 141% more likely to prescribe it.

The study found that the pattern held for 46 of the 50 drugs studied.

This is just one of many studies to find similar results within the medical sector. Furthermore, it shows clear bias for prescribing drugs where payments were made in relation to those same drugs. Such findings are concerning and could potentially negatively impact the treatment patients receive.

Given the potential risk to the public, particularly those in vulnerable positions, like patients, it is unsurprising that stricter reporting and transparency are now required through legislation like the Sunshine Act.

The pharmaceutical speakers bureau

Of course, there are legitimate reasons for exchanging money. Still, everyone involved in the medical and pharma industries must keep these payments transparent. This includes payments to physicians and key opinion leaders for pharmaceutical speakers bureau events. Pharmaceutical companies hire and train physicians to speak and sell various drugs and other medical devices at these pharmaceutical bureaus.

Pharmaceutical companies are one of just a few businesses that cannot sell their goods directly to customers, so the speakers’ bureau is a vital cog in the machine.

All exchanges of money or items of value must be reported to CMS to maintain the utmost transparency within the pharma and medical industries. So even if a physician is legitimately and legally hired to sell products to other physicians at a pharmaceutical speakers bureau, they must still report the exchange, i.e., their fee.

Speaker management software, such as that provided by MedCompli, can help. The MedCompli speaker program keeps everything needed for management all in one place. With MedCompli, you can organize key opinion leaders and the event, ensure compliant reporting, track logistics, and coordinate your team. You can even register and track attendees and analyze pharmaceutical bureau-related costs.

Schedule a free MedCompli demo today to see first-hand what it can do for you.