Drugs firms boost spending on hospital and specialist sponsorship

Overall insurance costs have fallen since 1995.
Drugs firms are spending more on sponsorship

Pharmaceutical companies and medical aids makers have again handed over more ‘sponsorship’ money to Dutch healthcare institutions and patients organisations, according to new figures from a register set up to monitor transparency in the sector.

In total, the industry paid €71.5m to healthcare groups, a rise of 26% on 2016, the register said on Tuesday. The pharmaceuticals industry accounted for the bulk of the money – €59.1m, a rise of 6% on the previous year.

Some 85% of the money went to healthcare institutions such as hospitals and was largely spent on meetings and conferences.

In total, nearly 4,000 healthcare professionals – mainly medical specialists – were given industry money, largely for presentations or membership of advisory boards.

Companies are not required by law to include payments in the register, which was established six years ago.

Nor does the register include industry funding for research. However, according to EU rules, drugs firms are required to state by law how much research funding they give on a country by country basis.

Frederik Schutte of the medicine advertising code agency SCG told the Volkskrant that based on the lists provided by 35 companies, that figure is likely to be around €100m in the Netherlands.

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