The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted data showing that drug makers and medical device manufacturers paid doctors and hospitals $8.18 billion in 2016. That's up slightly from the $8.09 billion paid out in 2015.
CMS tracks general and research payments as well as those that go to physicians who have either invested in or have an ownership stake in drug or device companies. The Open Payments Data is intended to create public transparency about financial ties between doctors, teaching hospitals and manufacturers as well as identify wasteful spending and the influence drug and device makers have on care, education and research.
About half of the 2016 total, or $4.6 billion, went toward research while $2.8 billion fell into the general category and the remaining $1.02 billion to the value of ownership or investment interest bucket.
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CMS also breaks down different types of payments. Nearly 80 percent of that money went to services, consulting and royalties. For services other than consulting drug and device companies paid $561,850,236.50, for instance, while royalty or license consisted of $490,394,998.51 and straight consulting fees ate up $366,294,330.08.
Drug and device manufacturers also paid out $245,826,908.20 for food and beverage and an additional $190,340,774 for travel and lodging -- which, taken together, make up from more than 20 percent of overall payments.
The amount distributed as grant money, meanwhile, totaled $23,912,995.51 and honoraria was $43,925,242.57.