UK pharma has published details of the payments and benefits in kind it provides to doctors, nurses and pharmacists as long-awaited industry transparency rules come into force.
The ABPI's publically-available database, Disclosure UK, reveals the industry paid healthcare professionals (HCPs) £340.3m in 2015, two-thirds of which (£229.3m) was for R&D work.
The remaining £111m was for a range of commercial rather than R&D activities, with nearly half of that money (£49.3m) going on a range of service and consultancy fees.
The next largest chunk of money was for event-related payments, which accounted for £31.4m in 2015, with £10.8m of that going on travel and accommodation.
Closely behind that were donations and grants to healthcare organisations, on which UK pharma companies spent £30.3m in 2015.
Mike Thompson, chief executive for the ABPI, said: “This is a milestone moment for transparency in our industry and for the vital partnerships we have with health professionals and organisations across the UK.
“These partnerships matter and help our industry bring the right medicine to the right patient at the right time so we can improve quality of life and, in many cases, save lives.”
He added that the work NHS doctors, nurses and health professionals for pharma is often undertaken in addition to their day job and that “it's right we pay for that expertise and insight”.
However, companies have faced some difficulties persuading the HCPs they work with to disclose their own details, and 30% of those featured in the new database refused to be named.
The Disclosure UK database shows payments from 109 pharmaceutical companies in the UK (54 of which are ABPI members).
It allows individual recipients of payments to be searched by name (where permission has been given), healthcare profession or organisation and their professional address.
The requirement for UK companies to publish this data was earlier this year enshrined in the ABPI's Code of Practice and is also part of a Europe-wide transparency initiative.