Industry-Sponsored Research Payments in Neurosurgery-Analysis of the Open Payments Database From 2014 to 2018.
BACKGROUND: The Open Payments Database (OPD) started in 2013 to combat financial conflicts of interest between physicians and medical industry.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the first 5 yr of the OPD regarding industry-sponsored research funding (ISRF) in neurosurgery.
METHODS: The Open Payments Research Payments dataset was examined from 2014 to 2018 for payments where the clinical primary investigator identified their specialty as neurosurgery.
RESULTS: Between 2014 and 2018, a $106.77 million in ISRF was made to 731 neurosurgeons. Fewer than 11% of neurosurgeons received ISRF yearly. The average received $140 000 in total but the median received $30,000. This was because the highest paid neurosurgeon received $3.56 million. A greater proportion ISRF was made to neurosurgeons affiliated with teaching institutions when compared to other specialties (26.74% vs 20.89%, P = .0021). The proportion of the total value of ISRF distributed to neurosurgery declined from 0.43% of payments to all specialties in 2014 to 0.37% in 2018 (P < .001), but no steady decline was observed from year to year.
CONCLUSION: ISRF to neurosurgeons comprises a small percentage of research payments made to medical research by industry sponsors. Although a greater percentage of payments are made to neurosurgeons in teaching institutions compared to other specialties, the majority is given to neurosurgeons not affiliated with a teaching institution. A significant percentage of ISRF is given to a small percentage of neurosurgeons. There may be opportunities for more neurosurgeons to engage in industry-sponsored research to advance our field as long as full and complete disclosures can always be made.