Abbott (NYSE:ABT) reported gifts and payments to Massachusetts healthcare providers worth more than $3 million in 2012, the most by any company and more than double the amount of the next-largest total by a medical device company.
The state’s Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Manufacturer Code of Conduct, a so-called "Sunshine Law" passed in 2008, requires medical device and pharmaceutical companies to report gifts worth more than $50 made to a healthcare provider who "prescribes, dispenses or purchases" drugs or medical devices.
The top 25 medical device payers doled out a total of some $17.9 million, according to a Bay State database listing contributions made in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available.
The top 20 companies overall paid out $27.1 million that year, 23% less than in 2011 and 29.2% less than in 2011.
Brian Rossman of the Boston nonprofit Health Care for All told the Boston Business Journal that the decline "probably reflects hospitals cracking down on conflicts of interest," plus companies pulling back because they don’t want to make the list.
"Yet the amounts are still staggering," Rossman told the newspaper. "We think the patients really need to have that so they can have the trust that their doctors are prescribing things based solely on what’s in their best interests," he said.