Senate Committee on Finance Investigates a Specialty Society

January 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

The United States Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) has jurisdiction over the Medicare and Medicaid programs. As you are probably aware, for several years Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Committee, and the Committee has been investigating the pharmaceutical industry, including industry funding for Continuing Medical Education.

Now, Senator Grassley is examining issues related to non-profit organizations for what he calls a concern about “the strong ties between the pharmaceutical industry and non-profit charities”. He is of the opinion that money from the pharmaceutical industry “shapes the practices of non-profit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions. Specifically, it is alleged that pharmaceutical companies give money to non-profits in an attempt to garner favor in ways that increase sales of their products”.

What does this have to do with those of us in CME? The good Senator has requested an accounting of industry funding that pharmaceutical companies or foundations established by these companies have provided to the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and its foundation, the American College of Cardiology Foundation (Foundation). He wants to know about any transfer of value from a pharmaceutical company, including but not limited to grants, donations, and sponsorship for meetings or programs, etc.

I would almost be willing to conjecture that this is not the only specialty society the Committee on Finance decides to examine.

 

if you would like to see the Grassley letter to ACC go to:

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/grassley.htm

Floyd Pennington, PhD

Director CME

American Society of Transplantation

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Entry filed under: CME Issues.

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