Author(s): Singh N, Chang JS, Rachitskaya AV. Open payments database: anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent payments to ophthalmologists. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Jan;173:91-97. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2016.09.026. Epub 2016 Sep 30. PMID 27697472
Journal: American Journal Of Ophthalmology, Volume 173, Jan 2017
PURPOSE To analyze anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agent-associated industry payments to ophthalmologists using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments and Provider Utilization and Payment data.
DESIGN Retrospective database review using 2 national databases.
METHODS Payments from 2013 to 2014 were analyzed by anti-VEGF agent, payment category, and dollar amount. Ranibizumab and aflibercept usage was correlated by performing log-ratio analysis.
RESULTS A total of 3207 ophthalmologists received 13 449 payments totaling $4 454 325 associated with ranibizumab and aflibercept. As 7% of ophthalmologists received 90% of payments, the Gini index was 0.92, demonstrating unequal distribution of payments. Consulting fees and speaker fees were associated with highest payment amounts to fewest providers. For 2383 providers (74%), greater than 90% of the anti-VEGF payments were associated exclusively with either ranibizumab or aflibercept. A total of 1382 ophthalmologists were matched in both databases. Providers receiving >90% of payments from ranibizumab were more likely to use ranibizumab, and those receiving >90% of payments from aflibercept were more likely to use aflibercept over bevacizumab as compared to those who received no payments.
CONCLUSIONS The distribution of all anti-VEGF payments is unequal. Ophthalmologists who received aflibercept or ranibizumab payments were more likely to receive the majority of payments from one source or the other, but not both. Those who received anti-VEGF payments were more likely to use ranibizumab or aflibercept, as compared to off-label bevacizumab, than those who did not receive any payment.