We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Original Investigation |

Physician-Industry Interactions and Anti–Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Use Among US Ophthalmologists

Stanford C. Taylor, MD1; Julia B. Huecker, MS1; Mae O. Gordon, PhD1; David E. Vollman, MD, MBA1; Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(8):897-903. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.1678.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Importance  The publication of the US Physician Payments Sunshine Act provides insight into the financial relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. This added transparency creates new opportunities of using objective data to better understand prior research that implicates pharmaceutical promotions as an important factor in a physician’s decision-making process.

Objective  To assess the association between reported industry payments and physician-prescribing habits by comparing the use of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) intravitreal injections by US ophthalmologists to the industry payments these same physicians received.

Design, Setting, Participants  This study reviews data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2013 Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File and the CMS-sponsored August through December 2013 Open Payments program (Physician Payments Sunshine Act). Ophthalmologists who prescribe anti-VEGF injections for all indications were analyzed.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Association between industry payments reportedly received and the number and type of anti-VEGF injections administered.

Results  A total of 3011 US ophthalmologists were reimbursed by CMS for 2.2 million anti-VEGF injections in 2013. Of these physicians, 38.0% reportedly received $1.3 million in industry payments for ranibizumab and aflibercept. Analysis revealed positive associations between increasing numbers of reported industry payments and total injection use (r = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.22-0.26; P < .001), aflibercept and ranibizumab injection use (r = 0.32; 95% CI, 0.29-0.34; P < .001), and percentage of injections per physician that were aflibercept or ranibizumab (r = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.25-0.29; P < .001). A smaller association was noted between greater number of industry payments and bevacizumab injection use (r = 0.07; 95% CI, 0.04-0.09; P < .001). Similar associations were found between the total dollars of reported industry payments received to injection use. Subgroup analysis further revealed that physicians receiving $1 to $25 in reported industry benefits were more likely than those not receiving industry payments to perform a greater percentage of their injections with aflibercept and ranibizumab.

Conclusions and Relevance  Among ophthalmologists who prescribe anti-VEGF medications, there is a positive association between reported pharmaceutical payments and increased use of aflibercept and ranibizumab injections. As is inherent to the design of correlation studies, this analysis cannot determine whether the payments reported caused the increased use, are a result of the increased use, or are merely associated with some other factor that causes the increased use.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Related Multimedia

Author Interview

audio player

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections