On 23 November, 2 separate firms published articles about a Special Alert issued in the US warning that speaker programmes organized by pharmaceutical and medical device companies pose inherent fraud and abuse risks. The “speaker programs” in question are defined as company-sponsored events at which a health care professional makes a speech or presentation to other health care professionals about a drug or device product or a disease state on behalf of the company. In these scenarios, the company generally pays the health care professional speaker and provides remuneration (such as free meals) to the attendees. In the last 3 years, drug and device companies have reported paying nearly $2 billion to health care providers for speaker-related services.
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