€12k paid to cancer specialist by drug company
Cancer specialist John Crown received more than €12,000 in travel expenses and other fees from a leading pharmaceutical company last year.
Prof Crown, of St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, was among hundreds of doctors and organisations, as well as hospitals, which received funding from drug companies. The details relating to 2015 were released for the first time yesterday. Only 55pc of doctors have consented to their payments being released.
The €12,019 paid to Prof Crown by Pfizer included €8,000 in fees and 3,308 in travel expenses.
The former President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, Gerard Crotty, a consultant in Tullamore, received €4,290 from Bayer in payments. The register shows that the drugs company Novartis paid the Irish College of General Practitioners €9,700 and the Institute of Clinical Neurologists received €58,000.
Overall, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, the umbrella body for drugs firms, said payments or 'transfers of value' totalling €27.2m were made by its member companies last year.
The extent of the payments shows the reach of drugs companies and the dependence which still exists even among private hospitals for grants and other subsidies from the industry.
The payments cover research and development funding, including clinical trials support, donations and grants for medical equipment.
The payments were also made for sponsorship, registration fees and travel and accommodation costs as well as fees for participation in advisory boards.
Meanwhile, the HSE confirmed it issued a letter to all pharmacies on May 5 following recent inspections which highlighted that some pharmacists have raised and submitted claims for reimbursement for drugs which were not dispensed.
All pharmacists have been written to and asked to review their procedures and records and if they believe an issues arises for them.
The HSE probity and control unit has received a number of contacts and are engaging with these pharmacists to ascertain if an issue arises.