A neuromuscular-based analysis of the open payments program

Muscle Nerve. 2021 Jan;63(1):96-99. doi: 10.1002/mus.27016. Epub 2020 Aug 3.


Introduction: In August 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments Program (OPP) made eligible payment information publicly available. Data about industry payments to neuromuscular neurologists are lacking.

Method: Financial relationships were investigated between industry and US neuromuscular neurologists from January 2014 through December 2018 using the CMS OPP database.

Results: The total annual payments increased more than 6-fold during the study period. The top 10% of physician-beneficiaries collected 80% to 90% of total industry payments except in 2014. In 2018, the most common drugs associated with payments to neuromuscular neurologists were nusinersen, vortioxetine, eteplirsen, alglucosidase alpha, edaravone, and intravenous immunoglobulin.

Discussion: A substantial increase in the annual payments to neuromuscular physicians during the study period is likely due to the development of new treatments, including gene therapy.

Keywords: clinical; health economics; neuromuscular; neuromuscular disorder; open payment.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. / economics*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neurologists / economics*
  • Physicians / economics*
  • Time Factors
  • United States