Transparency Reporting Update: Spain

10.24.17 | By Caroline Franco

For the second year, members of Farmaindustria, the National Trade Association of the Spanish-based pharmaceutical industry, have published transfers of value made to Spanish Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and Healthcare Organizations (HCOs).

Polaris’ experts have analyzed the 2016 spend data and mapped out the road ahead.

Analysis of Payments[1]

As part of the transparency self-regulatory movement, the 180+ members of Farmaindustria disclosed €501.5 million in total, in 2016. Similar to last year (see chart below), the higher transfer of value amounts went to Research and Development (R&D), and more specifically to preclinical studies, clinical trials and post-authorization studies. This year again, the industry’s second area of investments in Spain is in the scientific-professional meetings and congresses. This illustrates the willingness of the industry to continuously train HCPs and to give opportunities to HCOs to organize these events. In 2016, HCOs and scientific societies saw the spend of the pharmaceutical industry increase by 23%. Fees for services and related hospitality expenses, including consulting services, speaking activities, etc. decreased 10% to €79 million of spend, compared to last year. Grants and donations, on the other hand, increased 8%, reaching a total of €35.5 million in 2016. The regulated collaboration between the Life Sciences industry and HCPs and HCOs benefits professionals, the industry and patients. These transfers of value give opportunities to HCPs to update their medical knowledge (through training, participation at conferences etc.), the industry benefits from the experience of HCPs (via consulting agreements advisory boards etc.) and the patients as industry and HCPs work together to investigate new medicines and proper use of existing.

Interestingly, the consent rate for individual disclosure increased between the first year of disclosure and the second from 20% to 35%. This may be a sign of the willingness of both the industry and healthcare professionals to become more transparent. Farmaindustria acted thus and removed the option for HCPs to give consent. As a result, disclosure of all transfers of value will be made in June 2018 at the individual level.

The Future of Disclosed Transparency Data

Next year’s reporting will change drastically as individual disclosure will no longer be optional. Additionally, Farmaindustria’s decision to remove the aggregate disclosure for HCPs shows its willingness to promote transparency within the industry. Nevertheless, the public still seems to question the real transparency of these initiatives. Earlier this year, the Fundacion Compromiso y Transparencia published a report regarding the ethical commitment of the pharmaceutical industry to be transparent regarding payments to HCPs and HCOs[2]. From this analysis, the foundation’s analysis suggested that transparency data was not easily available to stakeholders in a manner that would facilitate analysis or review.   Companies need to prepare for the upcoming scrutiny into their data disclosure and must focus on managing their risks.

Since 2001, Polaris has helped Life Sciences companies around the world create, implement, manage and automate their transparency reporting. These efforts not only reduce costs and risks, but increase efficiencies across the organizations. Learn more about Polaris’ transparency reporting solutions here or contact us to find out how our experts can help your company.

[1] Farmaindustria