CME In the News September 2009

September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Here are a few things about CME that have appeared in cyberspace in the last few weeks. I am sure most of you have seen the last missive frmm the ACCME. If not go take a look at the organizations web page.

Eliminating CME Conflicts Worth the Cost, Says Scully
By Jun Yan

Psychiatry News September 4, 2009
Volume 44, Number 17, page 1
© 2009 American Psychiatric Association

“Regulators may join the already-crowded debate over whether commercially funded CME is beneficial or detrimental to the medical profession and patients’ health.

The fact that the relationship between the industry and the medical profession is facing increasing scrutiny is not a bad thing,” James H. Scully Jr., M.D., APA’s medical director and CEO, told the Senate Special Committee on Aging at a hearing in late July. He was one of the medical leaders who testified at the hearing to express their knowledge and opinions about continuing medical education (CME)—specifically, whether funding from pharmaceutical and device companies, currently accounting for half of all funding for all CME programs in the United States, leads to biased information for physicians.”

Read More:

Physicians know FDA-OK’d uses for drugs half the time
Critics say doctors need better information and call for tougher action on off-label marketing.

By Kevin B. O’Reilly, AMNews staff. Posted Sept. 7, 2009.

American Medical News

This article starts by referring to a 2006 study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine:

“A 2006 Archives of Internal Medicine study of 725 million prescriptions found that about one in five orders was written off-label — that is, for a condition that has not received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval as a safe and effective use of the drug. More than 70% of these off-label prescriptions were for indications in which the drug ordered had little or no scientific support.”

Later in the article you will find this assertion:

“Much of what doctors know about drugs comes from what they learn from the industry because the industry is out there actively communicating with doctors through sales reps or sponsoring continuing medical education programs.” (My emphasis)

Read More:

PHARMA GROUP SAYS: No more sponsored golf, other perks for docs
By Dona Pazzibugan

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:25:00 09/07/2009

The concern over relationships between industry and physician is not only a US concern. Read what one group in the Philippines is doing.

“Sponsored golf games and seminars in posh resorts here and abroad for doctors are no longer allowed among drug companies belonging to the Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines as it tried to police its ranks against unethical promotional activities.”

Read More:


Merck, Schering-Plough Spent Big on Medical Education

24-7 News
Date Published: Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

“A report says Vytorin makers Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough spent $60 million to fund medical education courses over the past four years. According to The Wall Street Journal, the drug makers made the payments to a small group of medical schools and health groups, including Harvard University and the American Heart Association.
The Merck and Schering-Plough Continuing Medical Education (CME) funding was disclosed in a report released by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. “These documents remove any doubt that, at least in this case, when drug companies fund continuing medical education, they see it as money well spent on marketing their latest blockbuster drug,” said Sen. Herb Kohl, D-WI, chairman of the Special Committee.”

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Here’s one for you. Another expose focused on the influence of pharma in medicine. This time it is on the practice of ghostwriting.

When stories extol drugs, maker may be behind it
By Kris Hundley, Times Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times
In Print: Sunday, September 20, 2009

“Documents recently released in federal court cases against the drug company Wyeth have exposed one of the dirty secrets in the world of medical journals: the widespread practice of ghostwriting.

While doctors are named as the authors of articles about treatments and diseases, behind the scenes is a paid writer who is largely responsible for crafting the piece. Not only is the ghostwriter on the payroll of a drug company with interests in the topic, the company often reviews the manuscript before the physician sees it.
With publication in a peer-reviewed journal, the physician enhances his reputation and resume. The drug company gets its marketing message across by a supposedly unbiased author.

Meanwhile journal readers — doctors and their patients — have no inkling of the drugmaker’s role in shaping the information.”

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Entry filed under: ACCME, CME, CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education, Continung Professional Development, Pharma Funding, Physician Continuing Education.

CME in the News Week of August 31st, 2009 GSK and CME Funding Restrctions

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