Pfizer paid docs $35 million in last half of 2009

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Pfizer paid out $35 million to 4,500 healthcare professionals in the second half of 2009, the company reported.

The figures cover payments, meals and “non-monetary educational items” worth $25 or more and totaling $500 or more during the six-month period, including compensation for speaking and consulting, CME and conducting clinical trials.

Around 44% of the reported payments went to approximately 250 academic medical centers and other research organizations for clinical trials, the company said, accounting for $15.3 million that covered recruitment, coordination and execution of clinical trials and completion of “compliance activities.”

Pfizer reviewed more than 180,000 transactions and consulted patients, researchers and healthcare professionals on the format of its report, which can be viewed in a database on its website. The company will provide full-year 2010 data on March 31, 2011, and, in compliance with an agreement last year to settle government charges that it improperly marketed Bextra, will include the value of all financial interactions including non-monetary items like meals and educational items.

The report represents Pfizer's first public disclosure of payments to professionals and institutions that test and prescribe its products. Pfizer said it's the first to report payments to doctors for overseeing clinical trials. The healthcare law requires similar disclosure starting in 2013.
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