Patients First? Or Just Business As Usual?…

Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline reveals $175K paid to hundreds of Triangle doctors

Jun 30, 2015, 5:18pm EDT Updated Jun 30, 2015, 5:26pm EDT
Jason deBruyn
Triangle Business Journ

Last year, 244 doctors in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill received a combined $175,797 from drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK).

Of that, one physician, Dr. Edward Nolan Pattishall, received $59,000 and another, Dr. Roger S. Rittmaster, received $37,400. No other physician received more than $8,300 and only 20 physicians received more than $1,000. The majority of physicians received a few dozen dollars or less, mostly for food and beverage costs, but the larger payments were typically classified as “consulting” or “speaking” fees. A few cases also included travel and lodging.

Drs. Pattishall and Rittmaster could not immediately be reached. A GSK spokeswoman did not give detailed information about individual physician payments. During calendar year 2014, GSK paid U.S. physicians $36.4 million related to speaking, advising and consulting and other transfers of value. In total, GSK spending was relatively flat when comparing 2014 to 2013.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dr. Pattishall worked with GSK from 2001 through 2011, at which point he became an “Independent pharmaceutical professional with extensive track record of success in clinical safety & pharmacovigilance and clinical development.” He holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Data was posted Tuesday on a federal Open Payments database run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This data is part of the Affordable Care Act, which requires CMS to collect information from applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in order to report information about their financial relationships with physicians and hospitals. GSK first posted its data in April.

“We expect overall payments to continue decreasing as we continue to implement our new approach to working with healthcare professionals, including stopping direct payments to external healthcare professionals to speak on our behalf about our medicines by 2016,” according to a GSK statement.
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Separately, GSK has been implementing a program it says puts patients first. One of the main changes is to decouple prescription sales in the United States from incentives to sales reps. The company had faced allegations that its sales reps improperly promoted drugs.

“GSK believes that appropriate engagement with healthcare professionals introduces more transparency into our marketing and educational efforts and it is also critical to ensuring patients have confidence in the treatment choices made by their physicians,” according to a statement, provided by Jenni Brewer Ligday, the director of U.S. External Communications.


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