How often do pharmaceutical companies publish

Here you can enter yourself in the database for zero-euro doctors.

Pharmaceutical companies in Germany paid 575 million euros to doctors in 2015. The money was used for lecture fees, travel expenses, for monitoring applications or as fees for conducting studies. In June 2016, pharmaceutical companies first published the names of doctors and health care professionals who had received cash or non-cash benefits. To show: Look, we are transparent, nothing is offensive about our payments, any suspicion of corruption is raised by the hair.

However, the publication was not entirely voluntary. Payments by pharmaceutical companies to medical professionals are widely controversial. A large number of studies have shown that doctors who accept funds from corporations or who are invited to congresses and other things more often use the prescription pad and also prescribe more expensive drugs.

In 2010, the US government under Barack Obama decided that pharmaceutical companies must publish their payments to US doctors by name every year - the "Sunshine Act". Corporations in Europe want to prevent such a regulation at all costs. That is why they quickly declared last year that they would now voluntarily provide this transparency in Germany. And published the payments.

Only 29 percent of doctors are transparent

The problem: Doctors in Europe can, but don't have to, disclose whether they are receiving money from the pharmaceutical industry. For those who did not want to take part in the transparency initiative, everything stayed the same. And doctors made ample use of this opportunity. According to calculations by CORRECTIV, only 29 percent of those who received payments agreed to a publication. One can assume that these are mainly medical professionals whose income was harmless. Conversely, this means that we have no data on 71 percent of the doctors who received benefits. Neither from doctors who have zero connections to the pharmaceutical industry.

For all doctors who are not in the database, this can mean two things. First: the doctor, the doctor did not receive any money. Or, secondly, he or she does not want the pharmaceutical fees to be known and has objected to publication. So an outsider does not know whether the doctor is particularly honest and has no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry - or whether the doctor particularly likes to be invited and rewarded, but does not want it to be known.

Last year, CORRECTIV compiled and published the data of those doctors who agreed to their names being mentioned for the first time in a database. After that, many doctors came forward. They said they would like to appear in this database - with the entry “zero euros”. Because they made it a point to document in front of colleagues and patients that they did not accept any money from the corporations.

The pharmaceutical industry itself has no solution to this problem, because it only knows the names of the doctors and health professionals to whom it transfers money.

That is why CORRECTIV is now starting the “Zero Euro Doctors” project. Those medical professionals who have NOT accepted any money from the pharmaceutical industry for lectures and training courses in the past year can register here. These doctors will appear in our “Euros for Doctors” database with the amount “0 Euro”.

MEZIS and VDÄÄ support the project

Several medical organizations have supported the CORRECTIV project from the start. Among them MEZIS, which stands for: My food, I count myself, an initiative of critical doctors. Just like the Association of Democratic Doctors (VdÄÄ).

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CORRECTIV is the first non-profit research center in the German-speaking area. Our goal is an enlightened society. Because only well-informed citizens can solve problems and bring about improvements in a democratic way. With your donation you enable our work. Support now!

CORRECTIV is now offering all medical professionals and healthcare professionals in Germany the opportunity to register in the new database. The aim is to help patients make an informed decision when choosing their doctor.

Update May 31, 2017: In the first two days since the new database was published, more than 400 zero-euro doctors have registered, including well-known doctors such as Prof. Dr. Michael M. Cooking, Honorary President of the German Society for General Medicine (DEGAM) and Prof. Dr. Peter Schönhöfer, long-time director of the Institute for Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bremen-Mitte.

Update 7.6.2017: The “Weisse Liste” has been supporting the project on its homepage since yesterday, and the association “International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War - Doctors in Social Responsibility” (IPPNW) is promoting participation among its members. As of today, more than 500 medical professionals have already registered as zero-euro doctors.

FAQ: The most important questions for interested doctors

I am a doctor, how do you check that my name and address are correct?

First, we need to verify that you are who you say you are. To do this, you must provide your address and an email address. You will be sent a PDF document to this email address, which you should print out and sign. If you have your own doctor's practice, please stamp it with your practice. Send this document back to us by post or fax.

How does CORRECTIV check whether my information is correct?

We take your word for it. You affirm that you did not receive any financial support in 2015 or 2016 from a pharmaceutical company that is part of the Voluntary Self-Regulatory Drug Industry (FSA). According to the currently valid FSA code, only fees for lectures, expenses and training can be published. If you tick that you have not received any benefits in these areas, we will check whether your name appears in the publications of the FSA companies. For example, if you are on the FSA list for 2016, you cannot appear in the list of zero-euro doctors at the same time. It is conceivable, however, that you will appear in the FSA list in 2015, but in the zero euro list in 2016.

I only took part in a training course in which the speakers were paid for by a pharmaceutical company. Does that count as a gift for me?

In principle, this includes training events sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. You can tell whether the company evaluates this as a benefit for you personally by whether the company (if it is a member of the FSA) has asked you whether it may publish this benefit (monetary benefit) individually by mentioning your name.

Do I also have to state the fee that I received for observational studies?

The companies grouped together in the FSA code of conduct do not publish the names of doctors who have received fees for carrying out observational studies (AWB) or non-interventional studies (NIS). This is often criticized because AWBs are controversial, as their purpose is usually to give a doctor money for prescribing a certain drug for his patients. But the industry remains intransparent when it comes to AWBs. That means: If you as a doctor received 10,000 euros for AWBs last year and then took part in a further training event worth 200 euros, the pharmaceutical companies only publish the 200 euros under your name. We consider this approach questionable and therefore enable doctors to additionally state that they also no fee have accepted for AWBs.

I'm not a doctor, I'm a nurse or pharmacist. Can I also add myself to your list?

Yes, because the pharmaceutical companies expressly include members of the specialist community in their transparency project. This also includes nurses, pharmacists and even employees of health insurance companies. The FSA defines healthcare professionals as follows: “'Members of the specialist community' are (...) full-time doctors and pharmacists as well as all members of the medical, dental, pharmaceutical or other health professions and all other persons who prescribe or use medicinal products for human use or who are permitted to trade with them in the course of their professional activities . This also includes employees of public bodies or employees of the cost bearers who are responsible at this point for prescribing, purchasing, delivering, administering drugs or deciding on the reimbursement of drugs, as well as employees of member companies who, in addition to their work for the company works full-time as practicing doctors, pharmacists or other members of the specialist community, but not those doctors, pharmacists or other members of the specialist community who work full-time for member companies. "

When will CORRECTIV publish the data?

We have already started publishing the names of the “zero-euro doctors” and will update the list continuously.

As a doctor or member of the health professions, you can take part in the Zero-Euro-Doctors project