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Doctors leave modest hospitality bill

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Drug companies have spent an average of just $36 on hospitality for doctors attending conferences, workshops and other events hosted by them.

In a result that belies claims medical practitioners are being showered by pharmaceutical firms with lavish meals, drinks and luxury accommodation, figures provided by peak industry body Medicines Australia show that, while more than $28 million was spent staging 13,290 conferences and workshops in the six months to March this year, the average expenditure for each attendee was just $36.15.

As scrutiny of the relationship between drug companies and practitioners intensifies, the Medicines Australia reports shows that the events it organised provided more than 27,000 hours of education at an average cost $75.40 per person.

In addition to staging events, pharmaceutical companies paid doctors honoraria and travel expenses for sitting on advisory boards.

The Medicines Australia report shows that between January and March this year doctors attended 49 advisory boards on 376 occasions, at an average cost of $2531.55 per person.