Industry Financial Relationships in Plastic Surgery: Analysis of the Sunshine Act Open Payments Database and Comparison with Other Surgical Subspecialties
Albert H. Chao, MD, Noopur Gangopadhyay, MD.
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
PURPOSE: Limited data exists regarding industry financial relationships in plastic surgery. The Sunshine Act Open Payments Database (OPD) currently represents the largest repository of this data, but is limited primarily to queries of individual providers. The purpose of this study was to analyze this data and present it in a manner that better delineates these relationships in the field of plastic surgery, and to compare plastic surgery with other surgical subspecialties.
METHODS: A review of the OPD was performed for the time period from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014. This data was analyzed with respect to types of payments, characteristics of plastic surgeons, characteristics of companies, and comparison with other surgical subspecialties.
RESULTS: A total of 49,053 payments from 274 companies were identified that were made to 4,812 plastic surgeons, which represents 54.5% of all plastic surgeons. Food and beverage represented the most common type of payment (82.2%). The total value of payments was \,901,077, with the highest valued type of payment related to royalties and licensing (\,109,678) that comprised 35.7% of the total, although these were received by only a minority of plastic surgeons (0.5%). A substantial proportion (82.6%) of the total value of payments originated from only 10 companies. Plastic surgery exhibited the lowest prevalence of industry financial relationships compared to otolaryngology (57.9%), orthopedics (62.4%), neurosurgery (87.8%), and urology (63.1%).
CONCLUSION: Approximately half of all plastic surgeons have industry financial relationships. The prevalence of these relationships is comparatively less than other surgical subspecialties.
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