Open Payment Data Discloses Industry-Dermatology Financial Relationships Interview with:

Hao Feng, M.D., M.H.S. Resident, Department of Dermatology NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Hao Feng

Hao Feng, M.D., M.H.S.
Resident, Department of Dermatology
NYU Langone Medical Center What is the background for this study?

Response: Recently, there has been an increased scrutiny on industry-physician interactions and emphasis on disclosures of interactions. While we know about the types of interaction between dermatologists and industry, we wanted to understand that relationship more in depth by probing the Open Payment database. What are the main findings?

Response: In this study, we found in 2014, over 208,000 payments totaling approximately $35 million were made to over 8,000 dermatologists. This represented approximately three quarters of dermatologists nationwide. A small fraction received a disproportionately large percentage of total payments. For example, the top 1% and 10% of dermatologists received approximately 44% and 90% of the total payments respectively. Mostly of the money went to those in private practice and to men. While 83% of payment entries were for food and beverage, they only accounted for 13% of total amount of payments. Speaker fees, consulting fees, and research payments comprised 70% of total payment amount. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Relationship between industry and dermatologists is prevalent, but industry payments are skewed and ranged widely among individuals. Most dermatologists only receive a modest amount from industry, as 63% received a total of less than $500 in 2014. There is very little contextual information provided in the database to interpret the payments. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We are interested in using this study as a launch point to address some unanswered, but important, questions such as the impact on clinician behavior, outcomes of clinical care, and patient perception. Additional research in better understanding gender disparities in industry payments is also warranted. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We hope this study can promote discussions among doctors, regulators, and the public regarding topics such as national policies, physician behaviors, and potential for conflict of interest. We encourage all physicians to review their Open Payments data at to ensure reporting accuracy. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Feng H, Wu P, Leger M. Exploring the Industry-Dermatologist Financial RelationshipInsight From the Open Payment Data. JAMA Dermatol. Published online October 05, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.3037

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on October 12, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD