Trust in EFPIA transparency continues

01.17.18 | By Talha Awan

EFPIA President Christopher Viehbacher 1 said: “The industry priority is to always conduct business with strong ethical principles and the strictest integrity. We believe transparency is both a guarantee of credibility and confidence.”

EFPIA1 represents direct membership of 33 national associations and 40 leading pharmaceutical companies; collectively EFPIA provides the voice of 1,900 companies.

With the benefit of hindsight and detailed figures courtesy of qordata EU Compliance AnalyticsTM 3, we can begin to draw three key insights:

One: With the total spend of Euro 2022 billion on medicines across EU in 2017, the relative percentage of spend on HCPs and HCOs by pharmaceutical manufacturers is small. The big five countries (France, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain) collectively spent around €1.9 billion in 2015 and €2 billion in 2016, or around 1% of the total revenue. So, the conclusion is that drug manufacturers are not spending excessive sums of money.

Two: Between 2015 and 2016, the spend behavior by the manufacturers has remained relatively unchanged as the reported transfers of value to HCPs and HCOs are evaluated3. The total spend by the big five in EU marginally increased by 3% from €1.9B in 2015 to €2.0B in 2016. Therefore, one could presume:

  • That the transparency did not alter drug manufacturer behavior, and
  • They seem comfortable in sharing the spend without altering the amount or nature of it year over year.

Three: Between 2015 and 2016, the spend reporting behavior by HCPs and HCOs respectively have shown slight improvements and are at relative ease in sharing the transfer of values3. The total consented amount by HCPs grew from €1.1B in 2015 to €1.3B in 2016 when analyzing Germany, Italy, Spain and UK combined. Similarly, for HCOs, the consented amount grew from €3.6B in 2015 to €4.8B in 2016.

Moreover, for the listed countries, the consented number of HCPs have also improved over the two years, with the exception of Germany where it dropped from 28,865 HCPs in 2015 to 19,262 HCPs in 2016. As the Transparency industry matures in Europe, HCPs and HCOs show consistent trust in the EFPIA initiative.

The trends reflected in this information are all positive. They also present two timely untapped opportunities:

  • Learning about the HCPs that are prolific KOLs, speakers and consultants, and
  • Approaching them for industry leadership.

Additionally, different TOV categories can be dissected to draw average amounts spent in various countries and then compared against the reportable years. Below, we see averages on Fee for Service and Consultancy Payments to HCPs in mentioned EU Countries.  The data shows that average spend in this category increased in UK and Germany while it declined in Italy and Spain.

The above analysis can be made on other reportable categories for HCPs in the EFPIA standard template. These include:

  • Registration Fees
  • Expenses related to Services or Consultancy
  • Travel & Accommodation

Similarly, HCOs have two additional categories:

  • Donations and Grants
  • Sponsorship Agreements

Other than the aforementioned categories, the EFPIA Transparency standard template requires all member companies to publish R&D numbers which are reported as aggregated amounts independent of HCPs and/or HCOs.

Similarly, opportunities for drug manufacturers to track various spend paradigms and benchmarks against them with respect to spend and consent rates exist. Again, only a few companies have benefitted from this information at present, and we highly recommend that the industry explore ways to leverage this dataset further.

Polaris and qordata have partnered to provide this dataset in an analytics platform called Compliance Insights (powered by qordata). Click here to learn more on how you can leverage EFPIA Transparency datasets. To learn more about Polaris’ solutions, click here.



1: Responsible transparency: Getting ready for disclosure. Campaign launched to raise awareness of new financial disclosure rules. EFPIA Website. 14.04.14 (14 April 2014 – Brussels)

2: The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures Key Data 2017. EFPIA Website download.

3: Qordata analytics platform data. 2017.