The Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO) has revealed that last year 2,961 doctors in Croatia received payments from pharmaceutical companies to the tune of 28.08 million kuna (close to 4 million euros). Payments to doctors from the companies range from as little as 100 euros, and up to as much as 55,000 euros which was paid to one doctor, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.
According to HZZO, the number of doctors on the payroll at pharmaceutical companies could be up to as much as 6,000 more, if those doctors who had received other ‘benefits’ from the companies were included in the official data.
The data released by HZZO means that a quarter of Croatia’s doctors employed in the public sector (around 12,000), is some way profited from dealings with the pharmaceutical industry, a large number for such a small market.
A large number of doctors are paid in Croatia by pharmaceutical companies for copyright work for ‘expert advice’, whilst others were paid for helping with patient studies for the pharmaceutical companies.
Last year pharmaceutical giants Pfizer agreed to pay the U.S government $60 million to settle allegations that its employees bribed doctors and other officials in Europe and Asia, including Croatia, to win business and boost sales.