Megan Reynolds (http://www.6minutes.com.au/news/latest-news/transparency-will-expose-demanding-doctors) a journalist for the Australian website 6minutes, (a daily pdf newsletter sent to Australian GPs and other healthcare professionals) reported the following on October 2, 2012:
In a submission to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) the next update to the Medicines Australia's Code of Conduct, an anonymous 'player in the pharmaceutical industry ‘supports full disclosure of sponsorship payments as he says under the current system of self-regulation, ‘Key Opinion Leader’ doctors are coercing Pharma companies into contravening the Code.
The 'insider' says some doctors demand $1-2k or more for a brief talk based on company-provided slides, in addition to business class airfares of up to $15,000.
Key Opinion Leaders also enjoy holidays as extensions of their conferences, and sometimes never turn up to meetings they are sponsored to attend, as they are 'probably off motoring around Europe somewhere!' he claims.
But companies are reluctant to complain about such demands for fear of alienating doctors of influence, who they claim often pit companies against each other in bidding wars for their services.
‘The Code needs to be stronger to help companies deal with these situations and know that any company that does not do the same thing will be exposed. Until that happens everyone is afraid to be the odd ones out,’ he writes.
He urges the AMA to set industry honorarium fee rates to stop bidding wars, and limiting doctors to just one sponsored event per company. He adds that most doctors as well as the public would be shocked by the amount of ‘paid comment’ to be revealed by transparency.”