An investigation led by Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology and public health at the Colorado School of Public Health, has found that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dermatology advisors receive large payments after assisting in drug approvals.
Dr. Dellavalle and his researchers looked at data from Open Payment, a program that gathers and publicly publishes information about the healthcare industry. They analyzed payments made by U.S. physicians who worked as advisors to FDA committees that approve dermatological medications.
The study found that 54 percent of advisors received at least one payment from pharmaceutical companies. Twenty-seven percent accepted over $1,000, 15 percent received more than $50,000, and 9 percent accepted over $100,000. The average figure of these payments was $47,000.
“It’s known from previous studies that financial payments to FDA advisors can take place after a drug is approved, but this is the first time we’ve researched and seen that this trend spans to the dermatology field,” said Dr. Dellavalle. “It’s hard to control post-advisory financial relationships since it’s not on the record going into the committee, and top doctors can be paid as ongoing academic advisors for a variety of reasons.”