Macy Foundation Report: Industry Reflection?

March 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

During the past few months I have contacted people from pharma asking them to do a podcast with me reflecting on what they thought the impact of the Macy Foundation report would have on their sector of the CME enterprise. Several of these people didn’t respond to my efforts to contact them. One indicated the company said not to comment on the report at this time.

During the meeting of the Alliance for CME this past January Mike Saxton, who is with Pfizer, was asked to comment on the report as part of a formal panel. The essence of his comments is provided below. I do not suggest that these comments represent the thinking of the pharmaceutical industry related to the Macy Foundation Chairman’s summary. They are what they are — comments from a person in industry with a long term commitment to the field of CME. We should heed some of what he says.

  • The Macy report has many important findings.
  • Reflecting on the healthcare crisis in this country we have to guard against letting the issues about commercial support distract us from the more important findings in the report.
  • Industry’s role has always been and remains to support the CME profession in its’ effort to improve health care quality.
  • If, in the findings of the profession, the conclusion is reached that patients needs are best served by eliminating commercial support then industry will follow that lead. Many in industry are absolutely prepared to do that. Lots of discussion needs to occur around that issue and there is a lot to debate.
  • Some of the issues underlying the Macy report are principles that have been governing the field of CME for years. We have not been active enough in creating an action agenda around these issues.
  • Balanced funding has been a principle we have all agreed on for some time. Today there is still not an action agenda about what levels of commercial funding are appropriate. He suggests we get on with that work. He also says we do not have to wait for the Macy report or any other group to tell us that we need to collectively, whether that is a drop to zero funding or fifty % or whatever. The profession can start setting standards now. He asserts that commercial supporters would like to see those standards so they don’t independently start adopting different thresholds and different mechanisms to support what the CME profession thinks is in the best interest of patients.
  • There remain conflicts of interest issues within the profession that have not yet been addressed are not addressed by the current accreditation requirements. Why wait for Macy or anyone else to tell us that? Create an action agenda that address the issues that matter to patients today, not tomorrow.
  • There are a lot of potential industry models for the future ranging form eliminating it to adopting a performance improvement model. Lets’ have that discussion. Let’s not wait for out side groups to engender that discussion on us.
  • The Macy report will be a catalyst to have the discussion that we need to have.

Your comments are welcome.


Entry filed under: CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education.

Macy Foundation Chairman’s Report MECC Institute for CME

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