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Medical Device Industry Payments to Doctors Outstripped

Between 2014 and 2017, the Medical Device Industry gave doctors consulting fees, lodging, lunches, and other incentives payments worth $904 million. As per a new study, more than $80 million more than the pharmaceutical industry lavished on physicians over the same time. Experts told STAT about the findings, which raised a new question about the industry’s influence on physical behavior.

Especially since the Medical Device Industry pulled in far less revenue than the pharmaceutical industry. Open Payments needed doctors to report any payment received from pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, and other businesses in the government database.

Open Payments aimed to help researchers, patients and journalists understand the financial relationship which might influence the physician’s opinion. Until now, virtually the attention and scrutiny of the payments, along with research into the links between payments and physician behavior, focusses on pharma.

A tight-knit relationship between the medical device firms and doctors is necessary for developing and training products. The large-scale payments inhibit the public’s trust between the patient and their provider. Marty Makary, Professor of Surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said, “If the relationship between the patient and physician is contaminated by perverse financial incentives, then it does erode the public trust, which is a sacred value in our heritage, our great medical heritage.”

Medical Device Industry representatives usually work alongside doctors in the operating room, educating them on using their product and getting feedback. This helps them in the further development of products. The relationship has sparked several developments of breakthrough medical products.

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