BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Pharmaceutical industry interactions with professional medical associations have come under scrutiny, yet industry ties among the leadership of these associations are often overlooked. The aim of this study was to investigate pharmaceutical industry payments to leaders of Australian diabetes or cardiovascular associations, and general associations serving doctors who manage these conditions. METHOD: Payments were identified using publicly available industry transparency reports (October 2015 to April 2018). RESULTS: Overall, 48/197 (24.4%) leaders received payments, predominantly for speaker (51.4%) and advisory board (25.3%) engagements. The proportion of paid leaders was higher for diabetes- and cardiovascular-specific associations (72.7% and 41.2%, respectively) than for general associations (7.6%). DISCUSSION: These findings raise concerns about industry influence on clinical practice and policy.
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