2015 Open Payments data are available at CMS.gov


check on your doc, a company or a form of compensation

Right on time this year, CMS has published the database of payments and other “transfers of value” from the healthcare manufacturers to physicians. A requirement of the Physicians Sunshine Act (in turn part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010), the database lists physician by name, and the type and quantity of payments; teaching hospitals are also so recorded in the same manner.

With two full years (and a partial report for 2013) now in hand, it’s possible to look for trends in the data. For the current Open Payments program (calendar year 2015), manufacturers reported $7.52 billion in payments, and ownership and investment interests to physicians and teaching hospitals. This amount is comprised of 11.9 million total records attributable to 618,931 physicians and 1,116 teaching hospitals. Payments are reported in the three major categories:

• $2.60 billion in general (i.e., non-research related) payments

• $3.89 billion in research payments

• $1.03 billion of ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their immediate family members

These data have barely budged from what was reported in 2014: $7.49 billion total; $2.64 billion in general payments; and $3.79 billion in research payments.

The disclosure system is set up for individuals to run a check on a specific physician; the comprehensvie data files are also available for free downloading.

Also at the end of June, the Assn. of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) published the compilation of transparency data that its members supplied in compliance with the organization’s 2016 ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Fifty-four ABPI members, and 55 non-members reported a total of £340.3 million (about $398 million at current exchange rates) on working with health professionals and organizations in 2015, of which £229.3m (67%) is for R&D activities; most of the remainder was spent on “fees” (not otherwise detailed), donations, sponsorship agreements with healthcare organizations and third parties, and travel and accommodations. While this reporting process does not have force of law (it is administered by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, an arm’s-length office of ABPI that administers compliance with the overall Code of the association), the program is a part of the EU-wide transparency rules being codified across the Union. The EFPIA Disclosure Code, which requires EFPIA members to disclose their payments to healthcare providers, had a 30 June deadline for filing data on 2015. Publication of those data will appear later. EFPIA, the federation of national pharma associations (and some companies) across Europe, is working with various national regulators to mandate this, country by country.

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