How much pharmaceutical companies paid doctors in 2015
International pharmaceutical companies active in Estonia for the first time published details about the amounts of money they pay doctors, both as salaries and to send them to conferences. In some cases, tens of thousands of euros were spent on a single doctor.
Daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian) wrote on Monday that financial agreements between pharmaceutical companies and doctors are often a source of disagreement, here in Estonia as well as in other countries. There was no clear answer to the question to what extent their cooperation influenced doctors’ decisions about medication and prescriptions, which is why international organizations in the business decided that publishing the amounts of money that change hands was the most reasonable thing to do.
The published data shows that 300 doctors received at least €1,000 in 2015, and that 30 doctors received €5,000 or more.
For example, Alan Altraja, a professor at the University of Tartu, received at least €22,000 from Bayer, GSK, Novartis, Roche, and Astra Zeneca.
Altraja said to Päevaleht that he had been paid for lectures, the preparation of lectures, participation in deliberating bodies, and expenses for travel and accommodation. The companies had suggested to pay the sums themselves.
Endocrinologist Marju Past received about €14,600, hematologist-oncologist Hele Everaus €12,000, rheumatologist at the North Estonia Medical Centre Piia Tuvik €10,800, and head of the oncology center of the East-Tallinn Central Hospital Kristiina Ojamaa about €9,000.
Päevaleht wrote that the largest part of the support paid was usually for expenses on conferences.