Medical industry again increases sponsorship of doctors, hospitals

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 €80m to healthcare groups, a rise of 12% on 2017, the register said on Tuesday. Some 152 companies signed the register, which was set up seven years ago.

Some €71m of the money went to healthcare institutions such as hospitals and was largely spent on meetings and conferences.

In total, nearly 3,700 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. 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.

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