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Drugmakers’ Payments to U.K. Health Groups and Doctors Climb 25%

Drugmakers in the U.K. led by AstraZeneca Plc increased payments to local health-care organizations, doctors and other workers by 25 percent last year,with most of that money going toward research and development, voluntary disclosures by the recipients showed.
The spending climbed to 455 million pounds ($590 million) last year, according to a report on Friday from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, which collects the data. Cambridge-based AstraZeneca had the highest expenditure, at 56 million pounds, said Karen Borrer, head of reputation at the lobbying group.
Almost two-thirds of health-care workers consented to sharing details of payments and benefits, up from about 55 percent a year earlier, the data showed, though the voluntary nature of the program allows some of the highest-paid people and groups to remain anonymous. The rising number of disclosures may not be enough to ease calls for mandating more transparency in an industry that has been under pressure globally for high drug prices and questionable sales practices.

To read the article by James Paton

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