Doctors aren’t accurately reporting compensation they receive from medical device companies, according to a new study published in the JAMA Surgery.
In the study, researchers performed a bibliometric analysis of the 100 physicians receiving the highest compensation from 10 large surgical and medical device manufacturers using payment data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Open Payments Database.
Results indicated that of all the publications relevant to payments received by those 100 most highly-compensated doctors, only 37.3%, or 84 of 225, accurately declared conflicts of interest.
“A large discrepancy between self-declared conflict of interest and the Open Payments Data among the physicians receiving the highest compensation from surgical and medical device manufacturers needs to be addressed,” study authors wrote.
The 100 physicians examined in the study received a total of approximately $12.5 million, with a median payment of $95,993, according to the study. Approximately 50% of the physicians served as faculty at academic institutions.
Previous research indicates that approximately 94% of physicians in the US receive external compensation, though the most common form of compensation is listed as food and beverages.
However, compensation that results in un-reported conflicts of interest can potentially lead to biases and prejudice in studies, authors warn.
“Financial ties to industry can result in a COI in the research authored by physicians. A COI can potentially lead to favorable outcomes in reporting and prejudice study reports. Inaccurate COI statements can result in biased perception of the study results by readers, ranging from patients to health care professionals,” study authors wrote.
Researchers said that they found “a high level of inconsistency” between self-declared conflicts-of-interest and CMS’ Open Payments Data, and proposed “a policy of full disclosure for all publications, regardless of evidence” as a possible solution.