Characteristics of physicians receiving large payments from pharmaceutical companies and the accuracy of their disclosures in publications: an observational study
Financial relationships between physicians and industry are extensive and public reporting of industry payments to physicians is now occurring. Our objectives were to describe physician recipients of large total payments from these seven companies, and to examine discrepancies between these payments and conflict of interest (COI) disclosures in authors’ concurrent publications.
The investigative journalism organization, ProPublica, compiled the Dollars for Docs database of payments to individuals from publically available data from seven US pharmaceutical companies during the period 2009 to 2010. We examined the cohort of 373 physicians in this database who each received USD $100,000 or more in the reporting period 2009 to 2010.
These physicians received a total of $52,600,624 during this period (mean payment per physician $141,020). The predominant specialties were internal medicine and psychiatry. 147 of these physicians authored a total of 134 publications in the first quarter of 2011 and 77% (103) of these publications provided a COI disclosure. 69% of the 103 publications did not contain disclosures of the payment listed in the Dollars for Docs database.
With increased public reporting of industry payments to physicians, it is apparent that large sums are being paid for services such as consulting and peer education. In over two-thirds of publications where COI disclosures were provided, the disclosures by physician authors did not include industry payments that were documented in the Dollars for Docs database.
SourceAvailable from: Andreas Lundh[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence of conflicts of interest (COIs) among Danish physicians who are authors of clinical drug trial reports and determine the extent of undisclosed COIs in trial publications.Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 11/2014; 108(3). DOI:10.1177/0141076814557878 · 2.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The relationship between psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies has come under scrutiny during the past decade. Concerns are growing that financial ties of psychiatrists to the pharmaceutical industry may unduly influence professional judgments involving the primary interests for patients. Such conflicts of interest threaten the public trust in psychiatry. The goal of conflict of interest policies is to protect the integrity of professional judgment and to preserve public trust. The disclosure of individual and institutional financial relationships is a critical but limited first step in the process of identifying and responding to conflicts of interest. Conflict of interest policies and procedures can be strengthened by engaged psychiatrists, researchers, institutions, and professional associations in developing policies and consensus standards. Research on conflicts of interest can provide a stronger evidence base for policy design and implementation. Society has traditionally granted the medical profession considerable autonomy and may be willing to continue do so in the case of conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, concern is growing that stronger measures are needed. To avoid undue regulatory burdens, psychiatrists can play a vital role in designing responsible and reasonable conflict of interest policies that reduce the risks of bias and the loss of trust. Psychiatrists and the institutions that carry out research, education, clinical care, and practice guideline development must recognize public concerns about conflicts of interest and take effective measures soon to maintain public trust with a cultural change in the practice of psychiatry, from reactive treatment-seeking for mental illness to pro-active advocacy for patients.Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 05/2014; 68(7). DOI:10.1111/pcn.12201 · 1.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Conflicts of interest affect recommendations in clinical guidelines and disclosure of such conflicts is important. However, not all conflicts of interest are disclosed. Using a public available disclosure list we determined the prevalence and underreporting of conflicts of interest among authors of clinical guidelines on drug treatments. Methods We included up to five guidelines published from July 2010 to March 2012 from each Danish clinical specialty society. Using the disclosure list of the Danish Health and Medicines Authority, we identified author conflicts of interest and compared them with the disclosures in the guidelines. For each guideline we extracted methodological characteristics of guideline development. Results Forty-five guidelines from 14 specialty societies were included. Of 254 authors, 135 (53%) had conflicts of interest, corresponding to 43 of the 45 guidelines (96%) having one or more authors with a conflict of interest. Only one of the 45 guidelines (2%) disclosed author conflicts of interest. The most common type of conflict of interest (83 of the 135) was being a consultant, an advisory board member or a company employee. Only 10 guidelines (22%) described the methods used for guideline development, 27 (60%) used references in the text and 11 (24%) graded the types of evidence. Conclusions Conflicts of interest were common, but disclosures were very rare. Most guidelines did not describe how they were developed and many did not describe the evidence behind specific recommendations. Publicly available disclosure lists may assist guideline issuing bodies in ensuring that all conflicts are disclosed.BMC Medical Ethics 05/2013; 14(1):19. DOI:10.1186/1472-6939-14-19 · 1.60 Impact Factor