The first EFPIA disclosure occurred last June. Disclosure formats and methods are quite diverse between EFPIA countries; thus, no comparative study has been performed as of yet.
This article presents results from 5 countries with available analysed data: Belgium, Spain, Germany, Ireland and the UK.
The www.transparent.be disclosure platform was created at the initiative of the industry and 23 healthcare associations.
More than 3000 healthcare professionals have granted their consent for this first disclosure.
Transfers of value to healthcare professionals and organisations were disclosed for 80 pharmaceutical companies, representing a total amount of over €138 million; allocated as follows:
– Research & Developement for €89,5 million or 65% of the total amount
– Grants & Donations for €17,4 million or 13% of the total amount
– Hospitality (invitation to scientific congresses) for €24,2 million or 17% of the total amount
– Fees for services/consultancy for €7,5 million or 5% of the total amount
It is important to note that, according to the EFPIA requirements, only pharmaceutical companies providing prescription medicines are concerned. In the future, the generic and over the counter medicines and medical device industries will be included in the www.transparent.be platform.
The pharmaceutical industry made €496 million in payments to the medical sector in Spain in 2016, according to Farmaindustria. These transfers of value are targeted at both healthcare professionals and organisations for event such as assemblies, training, services, and donations. In total, 190 Farmaindustria companies, or companies adhering to their ethical code of conduct, posted this information on their websites.
In 2015, the pharmaceutical industry based in Spain invested €190 million in research and development contracts with HCPs and HCOs.
Pharmaceutical laboratories also spent €66 million on scientific activities and events, and €33 million on donations to HCOs.
The industry invested €207 million in HCPs: €119 million dedicated to HCP participation in scientific activities and professional meetings (registration fees, travel and accomodation expenses) and €88 million on professional services.
Germany recently released their first transparency numbers, following a push by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) andn the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle für die Arzneimittelindustrie (FSA).
In 2015, more than €575 million were granted to physicians, specialist group members, and medical institutions from various drug companies.
Under Germany transparency requirements, a doctor will only be listed by name if they give their consent. Of the 71,000 doctors who received grants, only about 20,000 gave their consent to be named.
There were 54 participating pharmaceutical companies which represent about 75% of the German market for prescription drugs.
The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) published Transfers of Values (ToVs) of €27.2 million for 2015.
€6.8 million where received by doctors and other Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). Among them, only 55% gave their consent for individual disclosure. IPHA expects this ratio to increase in the next years as companies engaging with HCP are encouraging more transparency.
The amount of €10.7 million was spent on Healthcare Organisations (HCOs) while €9.7 million was dedicated to Research and Development.
Details of the payments made by IPHA members and other companies to Irish HCPs and HCOs are available on the report at: www.transferofvalue.ie
In the UK
In the UK, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) members have disclosed ToVs for a total of £340.3 million.
Two thirds of this amount, £229.3 million was spent on R&D. The remaining £111 million was attributed to HCPs and HCOs for: consultancy fees (£46m), registration fees and expenses such as travel & accommodation costs (£14.8m), contribution to costs of events (£31.4m), donations and grants (£30.3m) and to fund joint working programmes with the NHS (£3.3m).
The ABPI estimates that 70% of HCPs gave their consent for individual disclosure. However, those 30% who have chosen to remain anonymous share 48% of the amount of ToVs paid to HCPs, meaning that they are receiving the highest sums from the industry.
The searchable ABPI database can be consulted at: www.abpi.org.uk
The EFPIA disclosure represents an important step towards transparency. Although differences are observed between countries, there is growing interest in transparency. The role of consent is essential in ensuring continued and improved transparency. Although the healthcare industry encourages healthcare professionals to give their approval for disclosure by name, a major share of value transfers remain anonymous.