GSK discloses payments to Australian healthcare professionals in 2015
In 2015, GSK Australia made payments totalling $3.6 million to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and health-related organisations (HCOs) for grants, sponsorships and consultancy fees related to chairing and speaking at meetings, assistance with training and participation in advisory boards.
This aggregate number is broken into the following categories:
- $895,281 for consultancy fees related to healthcare professionals providing services such as advisory boards, speaking and writing engagements.
- $2,311,556 to individual healthcare professionals to attend international congresses and local education meetings (includes registration fees, hospitality-provided, accommodation and travel). This category also includes sponsorships to HCOs where GSK receives a benefit in return such as a stand at a conference or a speaking slot at a symposium.
- $483,274 in grants or donations to HCOs (non-individual). This category includes activities where GSK is not involved and does not receive a service or direct benefit.
This figure covers both the Pharmaceutical and Consumer Healthcare businesses in Australia however does not include payments to consultants in relation to research and development work, including clinical trials.
GSK ensures that any payment made to HCPs is reasonable, within market rates and reflects the time they spend speaking and advising. Hospitality provided to healthcare professionals while attending GSK-led educational meetings is in line with Medicines Australia guidelines.
In comparison to last year, the support to healthcare professionals and organisations has increased slightly. GSK launched a number of new medicines at the end of 2014 and invested in training in 2015 to ensure healthcare professionals have accurate information about the new medicines and the patients who would benefit.
GSK has an important role to play in supporting education for healthcare professionals and in providing accurate information about its medicines to help doctors make the best treatment decision for their patients, such as sharing new clinical data, details of label changes or safety updates.
In January 2016, GSK implemented industry-leading changes to the way it provides medical education to healthcare professionals to help address any concerns about undue influence on prescriber behaviour and to introduce increased transparency into marketing and educational efforts.
The key changes which came into effect on January 1st 2016 are:
- Increasing peer-to-peer discussions with GSK medics: As technical experts on our medicines and vaccines we’re responsible for explaining them. We have increased the number of doctors and academics that are part of our team to provide educational support.
- Moving to independent medical education: Medical education will continue to be supported by GSK where educational gaps are identified and third parties have robust propositions to address them. The main change is that this support will now be at “arm’s length” via medical education partners with no involvement from GSK.
- Stopping direct payments to healthcare professionals: GSK has now phased out payments to healthcare professionals to speak on GSK’s behalf about our prescription medicines and vaccines or the diseases they help to treat or prevent. Instead GSK medical staff, as experts on our products, will have an increased role in external communication.
Dr Andrew Weekes Medical Director Pharmaceuticals GSK Australia said, “Medical education remains a focus area for GSK to ensure medicines and vaccines are used appropriately but this must be done clearly and transparently.
“We remain strong supporters of transparency in our industry and we will continue to release our data on an annual basis,” Dr Weekes said.
In the spirit of transparency GSK Australia also discloses the grants and donations made to community and patient groups. This information can be found on the GSK website. GSK has been disclosing individual payments to patient and community groups for the last seven years.
GSK was the first pharmaceutical company in Australia to make public the aggregate amount spent on grants, donations and sponsorships with healthcare professionals and related organisations.
This information will be posted to au.gsk.com as part of GSK’s commitment to disclose the aggregate figure annually each year.
GlaxoSmithKline is a global research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company with a mission to improve the quality of human life. In Australia we have delivered the highest quality medicines, vaccines and over-the-counter healthcare products since 1886. We contribute to Australia’s economy through new approaches to agriculture and manufacturing, and by investing in local research and development. For more information visit www.gsk.com.au
Additional Information – HCP Definition
For the purposes of this initiative, Healthcare Practitioners are defined as: “Members of the medical, dental, pharmacy and nursing professions and any other persons, who may, as a result of their professional qualifications, be able to prescribe, recommend, purchase, supply or administer medicines.”