The gender divide in medtech extends beyond leadership and into funding for investigational studies by U.S. physicians.
Only 6.7% of physicians who received research payments from the world’s largest medical device companies in 2020 were women, according to an analysis of Medical Design & Outsourcing’s Big 100 list of medtech companies and CMS Open Payments data.
Among the 20 medical device companies that fund research by U.S. physicians are 3M, Abbott, BD, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson (dba J&J Surgical Vision and J&J Vision Care), Medtronic (dba Medtronic, Medtronic Minimed, Medtronic USA, Medtronic Vascular), Royal Philips (dba Philips Electronics), Stryker and Zimmer Biomet.
Together, those companies paid $3.9 million to 312 doctors in 2020, but only 21 were women, receiving a collective $402,600.
Women physicians, on average, received 15.7% of payments from each of the top medtech companies, but accounted for a total of 6.7% of all research payments from the nine companies that reported on the CMS website. Here’s a closer look at the funding:
- 3M doled out $7,430 in research payments to one woman physician in 2020.
- Abbott paid $238,380 to 41 physicians last year, two (4.9%) of which were women who received a collective $2,430 (1.02%).
- BD‘s funded $85,102 worth of research payments to five physicians, none of whom were women.
- Boston Scientific also funded zero women physicians in 2020 out of the $456,397 in research payments to 15 physicians.
- Johnson & Johnson, through its two reporting businesses Surgical Vision and Vision Care, paid 10 physicians $96,043 in 2020. Only three (30%) were women, who received collectively $69,320 (72%).
- Medtronic and its three reporting businesses (Medtronic Minimed, Medtronic USA and Medtronic Vascular) doled out a total of $1,115,332 to 107 physicians in 2020. Just 12 (11.21%) of those physicians were women who received a total of $63,923 (5.73%)
- Of the 87 physicians funded by $1,450,373 from Royal Philips (dba Philips Electronics), two (2.30%) were women who collectively received $99,497 (6.86%).
- Stryker‘s $189,892 to 24 physicians in 2020 included no women researchers.
- Zimmer Biomet backed one woman physician out of 22 total physicians (4.55%), paying $160,000 (65.16%) of the total $245,534.
- Alcon, B. Braun Melsungen, Baxter, Cardinal Health, Danaher, EssilorLuxottica, Fresenius, GE Healthcare, Henry Schein, Owens & Minor and Siemens Healthineers were excluded from this analysis because the CMS database didn’t show them giving research payments to doctors in 2020.