Pharmacy companies paid €27m to health industry

Pharmacy companies paid out €27.2m in payments to individual healthcare professionals, payments to healthcare organisations and on research and development last year, it has been confirmed.

In an attempt to make the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professional and healthcare organisations here more transparent, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association has changed its mandatory code of practice to require its members, for the first time, to disclose the payments or ‘transfers of value’.

This data relates to:

  • Research and development funding including clinical trials support.
  • Donations and grants to healthcare organisations (such as medical equipment, education and staff).
  • Contributions to the cost of events (such as medical conferences and educational events) for healthcare organisations and healthcare professionals; sponsorship, registration fees and travel and accommodation costs
  • Fees and related expenses for services and consultancy for healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations (such as participation in advisory boards).

In 2015, the value for R&D was €9.7m, for transfers to healthcare organisations €10.7m, and for healthcare professional €6.8m.

To comply with personal rights under data-protection law, consent must be obtained by companies from healthcare professionals for publication of the individual data.

A breakdown of payments by more than 40 member and non-member companies last year is at www.transferofvalue.ie. Subsequent reports will be published within six months of year end and will be publicly available for three years.

The figures for 2015 show t one of the biggest payments to a healthcare professional was to a Robert Coughlan in Galway who received €39,838 from AbbVie Ltd for fees.

AbbVie also had one of the largest total amount of payments to Healthcare organisations at €1.916m. That included almost €255,000 to the Irish Hepatitis C Outcomes Research Network and almost €250,000 to St Vincents University Hospital.


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