Table 1

Description of the databases included in the study

DatabaseTime periodDescriptionPayments captured
Educational events for healthcare professionals (‘Educational Events 2011–2015’)October 2011–September 2015Payments related to events for HCPs hosted by the company or independently organised by a third party (eg, hospital, medical organisation).
  • HCP service fees and sponsorship for meeting attendance (registration, travel/accommodation, food and beverages).

  • Event running costs, including food and beverages.

Third party meeting sponsorship (‘Educational Events 2015–2018’)*October 2015–April 2018Payments related to events for HCPs independently organised by a third party (eg, hospital, medical organisation).
  • HCP fees and sponsorship for meeting attendance (registration and travel/accommodation).

  • Event running costs, including food and beverages.

Health consumer organisation support (‘Patient group support’)January 2013–December 2017Support for patient groups (not-for-profit organisations representing the interests of health consumers).
  • Any financial or non-financial support (eg, for events, activities and publications).

Payments to healthcare professionalsOctober 2015–April 2018Payments to individual, identified HCPs for provision of services or to engage in education.
  • HCP service fees (speaking or chairing, consulting and advisory board membership) and meeting attendance, including travel and accommodation.

  • *Replaced ‘Educational events for healthcare professionals’. From October 2015, companies were no longer required to disclose spending on company-run educational events and on events were food and beverages where supplied directly by the company (eg, the company brings in sandwiches and drinks or similar modest hospitality), and this is the only means of support.

  • HCP, healthcare professional.