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B7O4 | Characteristics of physicians who receive large payments from industry and the accuracy of their disclosures in concurrent publications

Abstract text
Background: Authors’ financial conflicts of interest (COI) may bias the results of primary studies and therefore systematic reviews. There are few data, however, on the accuracy of COI disclosures in publications of primary research.

Objective: To examine the accuracy of disclosures by individuals known to have received money from drug companies.

Methods: ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization, identified 384 individuals (mainly physicians) who received >$100,000 from one or more of seven major pharmaceutical companies for consultancies and other peer educational activities over varying periods between January 2009 and September 2010. We explored the demographic characteristics and clinical specialties of these individuals using several public databases, as well as disclosures in their concurrent publications identified in Medline.

Results: Of the 384 individuals, 373 were physicians, including psychiatrists (32%), internists (31%), and a variety of other clinical specialties. Seventeen physicians had received state disciplinary actions. The mean age of the physicians was 53.5 years and 11% were female. The median total payment was $126,724 (range, $100,047 to $303,558). Only 159 individuals had published in the relevant time period, authoring more than 700 publications. Of these, greater than half contained disclosures. Of publications with disclosures, approximately 15% had discrepancies between the disclosures and information provided by ProPublica. We will present additional data on the nature of the discrepancies.

Conclusions: US medical providers who receive large sums of money from the pharmaceutical industry for speaking and other non-research engagements frequently do not report this information in concurrent publications. The systematic reviewer thus has incomplete information upon which to evaluate the validity of primary studies. Our conclusions are limited by the small number of pharmaceutical companies providing payment information to the public.
Norris SL1, Holmer HK1, Burda BU2, Ogden LA1, McAteer AM1
1 Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, USA
2 Oregon Evidence-Based Practice Center, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, USA
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Haley Holmer
Contact person: 
Susan Norris (Contact this person)
Haley Holmer (Contact this person)
Date and Location
Oral session B7O4
Friday 21 October 2011 - 12:25 - 12:45