Exploring the Psychiatrist-Industry Financial Relationship: Insight from the Open Payment Data of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2020 Jul;47(4):526-530. doi: 10.1007/s10488-020-01009-2.


Objective: The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA) requires reporting of financial payments by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to teaching hospitals and individual physicians in the US. Industry payments made to psychiatrists were quantified.

Methods: Using the 2016-2017 Sunshine Act Open Payments database, general payments made to psychiatrists were descriptively analyzed. The number of psychiatrists who received payments, and median number, value (in US dollar), and nature of payments to psychiatrists were quantified. Top 10 manufacturers who paid the most to psychiatrists were also reported.

Results: Over half of active psychiatrists (55.7%) received some form of payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Of these, top 2.8% of psychiatrists received 82.6% of the payments. Pharmaceutical manufacturers provided 812,877 payments worth $110,512,607.18 to 26,422 psychiatrists in the US. Compensation for services (e.g., speaker's bureaus) and consulting fees altogether constituted 71.4% of the total payment, with a median value of $1725.00 and $700, respectively. Among all psychiatrists who received payments, manufacturers that paid the most included Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.

Conclusions: The PPSA was created to foster transparent disclosure of any financial relationship between physicians and industry. Findings highlight that many active psychiatrists receive payments from pharmaceutical industry and payment forms were varied (e.g., food/beverage, educational materials, and compensation for services).

Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Marketed drugs; Open payments; Pharmaceutical industry; Psychiatrist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S.*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Disclosure
  • Drug Industry / economics*
  • Humans
  • Psychiatry / economics*
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / economics*
  • United States