Drug, Device Makers' Payments to Doctors Down Slightly in 2017

Marcia Frellick

July 03, 2018

Drug and device companies paid physicians and teaching hospitals $8.4 billion in 2017, slightly less than the $8.81 billion they paid in 2016, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Open Payment system.

The biggest chunk ($4.66 billion) went to research; $2.82 billion went to "general" payments for consulting, speaking fees, travel, lodging, royalties, licensing fees, and gifts and entertainment. The rest — $927 million — went to physicians who had an ownership or investment in a drug or device company.

In all, the report shows 1525 companies made payments to 628,000 physicians and 1158 teaching hospitals in 2017.

Table. Industry Payments Over 3 Years

Year Value of Payments (Billion $) Physicians (n) Teaching Hospitals (n)
2017 8.4 628,000 1158
2016 8.8 638,000 1150
2015 8.4 637,000 1119

 

Results are searchable by name of physician, teaching hospital, or company making payments.

The database also offers state-by state comparisons.  In 2017, California, Florida, and Texas received the most research money; North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming got the least. In general payments, California, New York, and Texas got the most; Alaska, Wyoming, and Vermont received the least.

The Open Payments system was created in 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act to make the transactions transparent and deter financial relationships that could bias researchers' results.

The deadline for disputing information in the CMS report is December 31, 2018.

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