UK Healthcare Organizations Receiving Payments From Medical Device Industry

Payments to healthcare organizations reported by the medical device industry in Europe from 2017 to 2019

Author: Bath University
Published: 2024/04/18
Post type: Observational study – Peer Reviewed: Yeah
Content: SummaryMajor – Related Posts

Synopsis: Medical device companies pay millions to UK healthcare organisations, including the NHS, according to a new report. The recorded payments detailed in the report are expected to be just the tip of the iceberg of cash flowing between healthcare providers and medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson Medical, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific. This is not a trivial problem. The reported payments represent a worrying conflict of interest. We know that free lunch can influence clinical practice, so the question arises: could these payments undermine patient care?

Main summary

Joint replacements, pacemakers, surgical instruments and sutures; Medical devices are a staple of healthcare. New research published in the journal Health Policy and Technology reveals that UK hospitals, universities and other healthcare organizations received more than €37 million in “education” payments from the medical device companies that supply them, generating The report’s authors are concerned that a “troubling conflict of interest” is at play.

The most notorious case of conflict of interest in recent years in the United Kingdom regarding medical devices has been that of vaginal mesh implants.

The report also highlights important shortcomings in transparency. The recorded payments detailed in the report are expected to be just the tip of the iceberg of cash flowing between healthcare providers and medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson Medical, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific. This is because it is not a legal requirement for medical companies to disclose payments.

The authors urge the UK and EU governments to implement a recommendation from Baroness Cumberlege’s major independent review that will require manufacturers to disclose any financial payments and in-kind benefits they offer to healthcare professionals and providers. .

Key findings from the report:

  • The study estimates payments of €425 million in “education” payments by medical device companies reported in 53 countries between 2017 and 2019.
  • The United Kingdom ranked third among recipients of payments, behind Switzerland (almost €178 million) and Spain (almost €86 million).
  • The largest payments to UK beneficiaries were to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • The three main companies that make payments are: Johnson & Johnson Medical (more than 184 million euros); Abbott Laboratories (more than 44 million euros); and Boston Scientific (more than 33 million euros).
  • The payments are “education-related,” meaning they should support the education of doctors and other health professionals, for example through scholarships, grants and “educational events.”
  • Payments are voluntarily reported to a database managed by MedTechEurope, a medical device trade body.

Dr James Larkin, lead author from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin, said:

“This is not a trivial issue. The reported payments represent a troubling conflict of interest. We know that free lunch can influence clinical practice, so the question arises: could these payments undermine patient care?”

Dr Piotr Ozieranski, co-author from the Center for Social Policy Analysis at the University of Bath, said:

“If you have a pacemaker fitted, you trust that the device has been chosen for the benefit of patient care, not for a financial incentive. The stakes are high if this is undermined, as the pacemaker scandal demonstrates.” mesh”.

The authors also express concern about the significant transparency deficiencies of the MedTechEurope database.

Dr. Piotr Ozieranski said:

“It is impossible for patients, journalists, policymakers and regulators to verify whether a doctor or healthcare provider has a potential conflict of interest with a medical device company because medical device companies only disclose some of their payments. Bearing taking into account the huge sums of money “There is money at stake, this is a major issue of accountability and transparency.”

“An EU-mandated disclosure system for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries could address these shortcomings and improve transparency in the healthcare sector’s interactions with the industry.”

Dr James Larkin said:

“The study is probably the tip of the iceberg about the money changing hands in the UK because medical device companies only appear to disclose a small proportion of their payments. Compare the €37 million reported by medical companies with the 2.96 billion euros reported by the pharmaceutical industry, which has greater transparency”

In 2009, a report from the Institute of Medicine said that conflicts of interest “threaten the integrity of scientific research, the objectivity of medical education, the quality of patient care,” and can also “endanger public confidence in medicine.”

Bath University

The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities, with a reputation for high-impact research, excellence in education, student experience and postgraduate prospects. Bath’s research is helping to change the world for the better. Across all three faculties and the University’s School of Management, our research is having an impact on society, leading to low-carbon living, positive digital futures and improved health and wellbeing.

Attribution/Source(s):

This peer-reviewed publication titled “UK healthcare organizations receiving payments from the medical device industry” was chosen for publication by Disabled World editors due to its relevance to our readers in the disability community. While content may have been edited for style, clarity or brevity, it was originally authored by the University of Bath and published on 18/04/2024. For further details or clarification you can contact the University of Bath directly at bath.ac.uk. Please note that Disabled World does not provide any warranty or endorsement related to this item.

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Cite this page (APA): University of Bath. (2024, April 18). UK healthcare organizations receiving payments from the medical device industry. Disabled world. Retrieved April 19, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/news/uk/kickbacks.php

Permanent link: UK healthcare organizations receiving payments from the medical device industry: Medical device companies paying millions to UK healthcare organisations. including the NHS, according to a new report.

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