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Responsibility Frequently Asked Questions

Pfizer's Disclosure of Payments to HCPs Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Which Professionals We Work with and Why

Questions About Terminology We Use

Questions About Payments to Health Care Professionals

Questions About the Posting or Disclosure of Payment Data

What health care professionals does Pfizer work with?

We work with a variety of health care professionals, including people like:

  • your doctor
  • researchers
  • scientists
  • nurse practitioners
  • physician's assistants and
  • others


Why does Pfizer work with health care professionals?

At Pfizer, we're focused on improving your health. What we know about diseases and medicines changes every day. As a result, there is a lot of new information that health care professionals like your doctor must sift through and evaluate in order to provide you with the best care possible.

Pfizer provides your doctor with the latest information about our medicines. We also help set up discussions about diseases and treatments so that health care professionals, including your doctor, can learn from one another.

Your doctor also helps to improve our medicines by providing Pfizer with feedback about how our medicines work in real-world patient settings after being extensively studied prior to coming on the market. This can range from insights about how our medicines are dosed to how our medicines work when you are taking them with other medicines.


How does Pfizer's work with health care professionals improve health and benefit patients?

Pfizer's work with health care professionals and clinical investigators leads to valuable feedback, scientific insights and improved medicines and care for patients.

On the front lines of medicine and patient care, these professionals are uniquely placed to provide essential input and insight to ensure that our medicines meet the needs of patients and the health care community alike.

Their everyday experience provides "real world" information about use of our products.

Our ongoing relationships help the flow of information between industry and the health care system.


What is a principal investigator?

A principal investigator is the primary individual in charge of a Pfizer-sponsored or investigator-initiated research project.

Studying how a medicine works in people is one of the most important steps in the medicine research and development process. Pfizer spends years doing research in the laboratory and then in carefully controlled clinical studies with real people before a new medicine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory authorities around the world and made available to patients.

Health care professionals are essential to clinical research -- designing and conducting studies about our medicines and treatment approaches both before and after a medicine is approved for use.


What are professional advisors?

Your health care professional may work with Pfizer as a professional advisor. This means he or she provides us with knowledge, insights, and advice on a range of topics from designing clinical research studies to marketing Pfizer's medicines.

For example, your doctor may be one among a group of doctors our marketers or development colleagues invite to review preliminary information about a medicine in development or to provide advice about treatment decisions, safety concerns, and areas of further study that would be helpful.

These roundtables can range from several hours to one or two days.


What are expert-led forums?

They are meetings organized by Pfizer and led by health experts. At these events doctors and other health care professionals work with Pfizer, as expert speakers, to educate and inform their peers (typically other doctors in their field) about a health condition and/or the safe and effective use of our medicines in patient treatment.

These health care professional speakers are experts on certain diseases and are familiar with the latest treatments for patients.

Sometimes, Pfizer schedules these expert speakers to give talks over lunch or at a dinner program, when doctors aren't busy seeing patients.


Why does Pfizer pay health care providers and clinical investigators for these collaborations?

Health care providers and clinical investigators invest their time and energy in the valuable work they do for Pfizer.

Whether preparing for a speaking engagement or conducting research, these efforts are time consuming and make use of their considerable professional expertise.

Often the leading authorities in their fields, these professionals are compensated fairly for the work they do for Pfizer.

We have in place established Fair Market Value guidelines to ensure payments are fair and appropriate to the important work being done on our behalf. Pfizer has established a standard fair market value compensation schedule for services provided by health care professionals.

Our Fair Market Value methodology is based upon the particular health care professional's credentials and qualifications and the amount of time necessary to provide the requested service.


Does Pfizer pay for meals?

Since we may be taking time away from a health care professional's meal break, Pfizer may provide your doctor and his or her medical staff with a breakfast or lunch in the office during in-office meetings. Pfizer may also provide meals at expert-led forums.

We do not pay the health care professionals for participating in these in-office sessions or expert-led forums.


Does Pfizer pay for entertainment and trips?

When your doctor must travel in the course of her or his work with Pfizer, we cover reasonable travel expenses, including food and transportation.

Pfizer does not reimburse or otherwise pay for entertainment, vacations, or other non-business travel or for travel expenses for spouses or other companions, should they accompany the doctor.


Does Pfizer provide health care professionals with non-educational gifts?

In the U.S., Pfizer does not give health care professionals non-educational items.

Educational items are limited to those with a value of less than $100.


Does Pfizer pay people to ghostwrite studies?

We have strict policies against ghostwriting articles on behalf of physicians.

Ghostwriting is defined as undisclosed assistance in writing an article, as described in ICMJE guidelines (International Conference of Medical Journal Editors). We follow those guidelines. In some cases, peer-review journals have additional guidelines which we follow as well.

It is important to note that Pfizer currently has policies in place to ensure that all editorial and financial support for a manuscript is disclosed.

We do not compensate clinical trial investigators for writing and submitting primary articles about Pfizer clinical trials to peer-reviewed journals.

In some cases we will compensate a technical medical writer to work under the direction of a clinical trial investigator. The technical writers' contributions are publicly disclosed in the acknowledgements section of the article.

If a writer meets the ICMJE threshold for authorship, they are then added as an author.


Does Pfizer's payment to physicians influence their prescribing habits?

Pfizer does not work with or pay physicians as either an inducement or a reward for prescribing.

Pfizer selects its health care professional partners very carefully based upon their credentials, experience, commitment to patient interests, and unique abilities with respect to the work for which they are being compensated. Criteria for speakers, for example, include the ability to effectively communicate medical and scientific information.


What details has and will Pfizer post about payments to U.S. health care professionals (HCPs) and when?

July-December 2009 (reported in first quarter of 2010):

  • On July 1, 2009, we began capturing payment data. Pfizer reported payments, including meals and business related expenses, greater than or equal to $25.
  • Pfizer also reported payments where the aggregate amount paid to an individual health care professional is greater than or equal to $500 in a calendar year.

January-December 2010 (reported in first quarter of 2011):

  • Pfizer reported all payments, meals and reimbursable travel expenses, regardless of value, to health care professionals who received more than $100 in total transfers of value from Pfizer during the year. For those health care professionals who received $100 or less in total transfers of value, payments or transfers of value that are greater than $10 are disclosed.
  • We began capturing this information on an ongoing basis beginning on January 1, 2010.

Starting in 2011 :

  • In 2011, Pfizer moved from an annual reporting cycle to quarterly reporting. All reports from January 2011 onward, occur on a quarterly basis, reflecting payments and other transfers of value provided during the prior quarter. For example, on June 1, 2011, Pfizer posted the data collected from January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011.

We disclose payments to:

  • All practicing U.S. health care professionals who can prescribe medicines, including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants
  • Major U.S. institutions for ongoing clinical trials
  • All principal investigators and other entities for Phase I-IV clinical trials sponsored by Pfizer beginning on or after July 1, 2009

We will disclose payments for:

  • Clinical development and commercial consulting
  • Promotional speaking
  • Phase I-IV clinical trials
  • Investigator-initiated research
  • Meals, business-related travel expenses and educational items
  • Journal Reprints
  • Other non-educational items, provided by ex-U.S. entities, where permitted


When did Pfizer begin posting payments made to health care professionals?

Pfizer began posting payments made to health care professionals on March 31, 2010, covering the period of July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. Pfizer's second posting on March 31, 2011, covers the entire 2010 calendar year. Subsequent postings occur on a quarterly basis. Starting August 1, 2013, to ensure compliance with the Affordable Care Act, previously known as the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, we will expand our existing report to include more detailed information on payments and non-cash transfers of value, which will be posted on


What steps will you take to ensure that the data you post are accurate?

We are committed to ensuring that the information we post is accurate and clearly outlines the nature of all payments.

We have an extensive quality control process in place to help make sure the data we post are accurate.

Health Care professionals can inquire about the details of their posting by sending a message to Pfizer Payment Transparency Initiative or calling 800-511-2727.

For more detailed information on the Sunshine Act and healthcare professional disclosures please visit


Will health care professionals have the opportunity to review their data before it is posted?

Due to the volume of information that we are disclosing, it is not possible to provide all health care professionals the opportunity to review their data prior to publication.



View the Payment Reports

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