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Dermatologists Receive Considerable Industry Payments

Variation in nature and amount of payments, with top 1 percent of doctors receiving at least $93,622

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Dermatologists receive considerable payments, mainly from the pharmaceutical industry, with variation in the nature and amount of payments, according to research published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Dermatology.

Hao Feng, M.D., from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Sunshine Act Open Payment database to examine the nature and extent of industry payments to dermatologists.

The researchers identified 8,333 dermatologists who received 208,613 payments totaling more than $34 million. The median payment was $298 per dermatologist (interquartile range, $99 to $844). The top 10 percent of dermatologists received 90 percent of the total payments, in excess of $31.2 million. The top 1 percent of dermatologists each received at least $93,622, which accounted for 44 percent of all payments. Eighty-three percent of payment entries were for food and drink, but these accounted for 13 percent of the total amount of payments. Overall, 69.8 percent of the total payment amount comprised of speaker fees, consulting fees, and research payments (31.7, 21.6, and 16.5 percent, respectively). The top 15 companies, which were all pharmaceutical manufacturers, paid $28.7 million to dermatologists, representing 81 percent of the total disbursement.

“Ultimately, the impact of financial disclosure from industry to dermatologists, and physicians in general, remains to be seen,” the authors write. “Further investigations examining the impact on clinician behavior, outcomes of clinical care, and patient perception are merited.”

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