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Pharmaceutical companies paid half a billion euros to doctors and for studies

Pharmaceutical companies paid half a billion euros to doctors and for studies



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The pharmaceutical industry pays hundreds of millions for doctors and studies
Over 50 pharmaceutical companies in Germany together paid more than half a billion euros to doctors, medical institutions and organizations last year. The money was earmarked for studies, further training and sponsorship. Critics describe the voluntary self-regulation of the pharmaceutical industry as a "big image campaign".

Paid over half a billion euros to doctors and clinics
The pharmaceutical industry paid over half a billion euros to doctors and medical organizations and institutions last year. The money was intended for studies, further training and sponsorship. As announced by the voluntary self-monitoring for the pharmaceutical industry (FSA) and the Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa) on Monday in Berlin, the total for the year was around 575 million euros. According to the information, the figures come from 54 companies that have voluntarily committed to disclosure under the so-called transparency code. According to their own information, these companies together cover 75 percent of the German pharmaceutical market for prescription drugs. The benefits actually paid to doctors and clinics in Germany should therefore be significantly higher.

Hundreds of millions for controversial application observations
From the numbers, it can be seen that 366 million went to clinical trials and controversial field studies. However, suspicion of corruption has repeatedly been raised, especially when observing the use of medicinal products on patients in everyday life. According to critics, these are only used by medical professionals to prescribe a particular drug. However, the pharmaceutical industry sees the testing of pharmaceuticals in everyday life as an important part of research. 119 million euros went to doctors and other members of the specialist group for lecture fees and further training, and 90 million euros to medical organizations and institutions for sponsoring events, donations and foundations.

Healthcare Corruption Law
First in mid-May, the Federal Council passed a law against corrupt doctors. In a statement, it said: "Doctors or other health professionals who can be bribed for the preferred prescription of certain drugs, medicines or aids, can expect up to three years in prison." With the law against corruption in the health care system the demand for more transparency in the pharmaceutical and medical device market should be emphasized.

Disclosure should take place annually
According to the information, the individual member companies of vfa and FSA want to publish their services on their websites by the end of June. In future, this disclosure is to take place annually. As far as data protection allows, the companies also make services to individual doctors individually traceable. This depends on the consent of each individual doctor. According to the FSA and vfa, around a third of medical professionals are currently willing to disclose the benefits. However, many would wait to see how the public reacted to the transparency initiative. One is only at the beginning of a “new culture” in this area.

Increase understanding in patients
Birgit Fischer, vfa general manager, said in a press release: “We want to better explain the need for collaboration between companies and doctors. This will increase understanding of the collaboration and its acceptance in public and among patients. "She continued:" The collaboration between research-based pharmaceutical companies and doctors is a prerequisite for the development of innovative medicines and thus for the best possible treatment of patients. This is how medical progress arises. "

Critics speak of a big “image campaign”
According to a message from the dpa news agency, the umbrella organization of statutory health insurance (GKV) spoke of a “good initiative to shed light on the payments of the pharmaceutical industry to third parties. However, it is still missing that the individual patient can understand how much money has been paid to which doctor, ”said the spokesman for the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, Florian Lanz. The German Foundation for Patient Protection argued similarly. According to this, doctors should still hide behind data protection. "This is why the legislator is required to finally give these nameless people a face," said Eugen Brysch, board member of the foundation. And the health spokeswoman for the Left Group, Kathrin Vogler, criticized: "What the pharmaceutical industry wants to sell as self-monitoring of its influence on doctors is more of a large image campaign." (Ad)

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