Pfizer Inc. disclosed yesterday that it had paid a total of $35 million to 4,500 institutions and doctors for the research and promotion of its drugs.
Pfizer’s new disclosure effort comes just months after the drug maker struck an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay $2.3 billion to settle claims arising from the illegal marketing of some drugs, including the painkiller Bextra; Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug. Among the charges covered by the settlement were allegations that Pfizer paid kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe these, as well as other, drugs.
The payments were listed on Pfizer’s Web site yesterday. In as statement, Pfizer said it is the first in the industry to report payments made to doctors and professionals for conducting clinical trials testing potential new drugs.
The database details payments Pfizer made worth $25 or more, and totaling at least $500. About 1,500 healthcare professionals received an average of $5,000 to “provide input and advice about the needs of patients.” Another $2,800 received an average of $3,400 to serve as speakers on Pfizer drugs. Two hundred and fifty research institutions received a total of $15.3 million for help researching and testing new medicines.
According to Reuters, Pfizer said its payment disclosures will become more detailed next year, under a corporate integrity agreement that was part of last year’s settlement. At that time, Pfizer will begin making reports on a quarterly basis, and include the value of all financial interactions, including those below $25, and non-monetary items such as educational items.