One of the biggest payers was Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical, which gave $435m to doctors during the year. It paid out more than even some of the major American drug companies, including Pfizer and Merck. Europe's pharmaceutical companies accounted for 23 per cent of all payments to US physicians.
This is the second year that the level of payments-and the physicians receiving payments or payments-in-kind-has been published under the Sunshine Act.
The act is designed to introduce more transparency into medicine, although payments for 'research' and 'consultancy' are not examined.