UK doctors paid $64 million by drug companies in 2013

steth2(Reuters) – Doctors in Britain were paid 38.5 million pounds ($64 million) by drugmakers last year, slightly less than 2012, according to new data underscoring the links between the pharmaceutical industry and prescribers.

Industry payments to doctors have come under increased scrutiny following a number of scandals over sales practices, notably in the United States, and concerns that such ties could put commercial interests ahead of the best outcome for patients.

The figure, announced by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), was slightly down on the 2012 level of 40 million pounds.

Criticism of the close relationship between doctors and drug firms has prompted some companies to rethink how they operate. GlaxoSmithKline said in December it would stop paying doctors to promote its drugs, though it will still pay fees for clinical research and advisory work.

The overall payments to doctors last year comprised 27.7 million pounds for consultancy services and 10.8 million in sponsorship to attend third party meetings, the trade group said.[Source]

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