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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 17214

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Iskowitz M
GSK reveals speaker, consulting fees
Medical Marketing & Media 2010 Dec 15
http://www.mmm-online.com/gsk-reveals-speaker-consulting-fees/article/159645/


Full text:

GlaxoSmithKline said it paid nearly $15 million in fees in the second quarter to US healthcare professionals for speaking and consulting services.

A 121-page report posted yesterday by the Anglo firm highlights amounts given to 3,700 KOLs and other providers. Payees received $3,909 on average. The highest-paid recipient on the list was a specialist in rheumatology-allergy and immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who received $99,375.

Such fees are often made in exchange for talks or consulting services in therapeutic areas that coincide with a company’s marketed products. GSK’s asthma/COPD treatment Advair Diskus was the fourth best-selling drug in the US in 2008, according to IMS Health.

Deirdre Connelly, GSK’s president North America pharmaceuticals, said: “These are professionals who should be fairly compensated for the services and expertise they provide. There are strict guidelines about how we work together.”

GSK and other drug firms have been drawing back the curtain on payments to doctors ahead of legislation that could make such disclosures mandatory. Both the healthcare reform bill that cleared the House earlier this year and the Senate bill nearing passage include language meant to increase public disclosure of payments.

Earlier this year, Eli Lilly became the first major drug company to provide a detailed list of consulting and speaker fees when it posted its faculty registry, disclosing $22 million in first-quarter compensation paid to almost 3,400 US physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Next up was Merck, which said it shelled out $3 million in speaker fees to US doctors during the second quarter. Pfizer has also pledged to publicize amounts given to support influential doctors.

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.