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Drug company hospitality less than lavish

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The pharmaceutical industry spent an average of less than $47 on hospitality for doctors attending conferences and seminars it hosted, undermining claims of lavish accommodation and entertainment.

In its latest biannual report on events hoisted for medical practitioners, peak pharmaceutical industry body Medicines Australia has reported that almost 17,000 educational events and 113 advisory board meetings were held in the six months to the end of September, at a total cost of almost $46.5 million.

In all, the industry reported a total attendance of more than 501,000 people, putting the average per person cost of hosting an educational event at $88.74, while each advisory board meeting cost an average of $2281.85 per person.

The results were released as discussions around the disclosure of payments to individual practitioners continue to advance.

The AMA has backed increased disclosure of industry payments in principle, but wants to ensure that the context of each payment is adequately explained to ensure the public is fully informed.

Adrian Rollins