The percentage of doctors reporting financial ties to medical-product manufacturers has dropped over the past six years, but the vast majority of doctors still have some type of financial relationship with makers of drugs and medical devices, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital's Mongan Institute for Health Policy.
Study finds most docs still have ties to product manufacturers
The researchers' study, which appears in the Nov. 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, surveyed nearly 1,900 physicians in seven specialties. It found that the percentage of physicians reporting financial ties to medical-product companies dropped to 84% in 2009 from 94% in 2004. Among doctors reporting relationships with industry vendors, roughly 64% said they received drug samples and 71% acknowledged accepting food and beverages from product manufacturers. Around 14% said they received compensation for providing professional services.
Although the majority of doctors responding to the survey acknowledged that they continue to have financial ties to medical-product companies, the study’s authors said the percentage of doctors accepting compensation or items of worth from manufacturers has decreased in every category measured by the survey since 2004.
"These data clearly show that physician behavior, at least with respect to managing conflicts of interest, is mutable in a relatively short period," the study’s authors said in a news release. "However, given that 83.8% of physicians have physician-industry relationships, it is clear the industry still has substantial financial links with the nation’s physicians. These findings support the ongoing need for a national system of disclosure of physician-industry relationships."
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