Big Pharma funding revealed for healthcare professionals in Belgium – International

From 2017 to 2020, the pharmaceutical industry paid 875 million euros to Belgian health professionals and organisations, according to a collaborative investigation by media outlets Le Soir, Midor, De Tejd and Canac on Wednesday. Nearly 60% of the total (520 million) is devoted to research and development funding in Belgium, but other categories of spending are more controversial, particularly individual care.

These expenses are used by pharmaceutical companies, among other things, to Funding the training of practitioners, inviting specialists to scientific conferences, sponsoring their organization or obtaining advice from a “chief opinion leader,” a physician who is an authority in his sectorMedia details. Since 2017, the expenditures must be declared for the benefit of the medical scientist in Belgium and then published in the official register “betransparent”.

According to the 134,000 transactions analyzed, 546 companies in the pharmaceutical sector and medical device manufacturers announced that they had paid €875.5 million to approximately 32,000 healthcare professionals and institutions located in Belgium over the four years studied. The companies make it clear that they provide this funding to “advance science” and “improve the quality of patient care.”

Donations and subsidies also represent 15% (131 million euros) of the amounts announced transparently, compared to 9.1% for consulting fees. Expenses for participation, accommodation and/or transportation for scientific events amount to approximately 145 million euros.

Some expenses are disputed on ethical grounds, in particular through Test-Achats. “he is It is an illusion to think that companies spend carelessly Consumers Union explains large sums of money without reaping any interest. “Studies show that even small benefits received from companies can create a reciprocal relationship, often unconsciously.”

However, health professionals point out that the funding makes it possible to support research projects that hospitals would not be able to do on their own.

These expenditures are used by pharmaceutical companies, among other things, to fund the training of practitioners, to invite specialists to scientific conferences, to sponsor their organization or to obtain the advice of a “chief opinion leader”, a physician with authority in his sector, detailing the media. Since 2017, the expenditures must be declared for the benefit of the medical scientist in Belgium and then published in the official register “betransparent”. According to the 134,000 transactions analyzed, 546 companies in the pharmaceutical sector and medical device manufacturers announced that they paid 875.5 million euros to nearly 32,000 healthcare professionals and institutions based in Belgium during the four years studied. The companies make it clear that they provide this funding to “advance science” and “improve the quality of patient care.” Donations and subsidies also represent 15% (131 million euros) of the amounts announced transparently, compared to 9.1% for consulting fees. Expenses for participation, accommodation and/or transportation for scientific events amount to approximately 145 million euros, and some expenditures are disputed on ethical grounds, notably by Test-Achats. The Consumers Union explains: “It is an illusion to think that companies are spending huge amounts of money carelessly without reaping any benefit.” “Studies show that even small benefits obtained from companies can reciprocate, often unconsciously.” However, health professionals point out that the funding makes it possible to support research projects that hospitals would not be able to do on their own.

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