Recent: CME in the News and Blogs

October 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

CME in the Recent News

If you subscribe to the illogical conclusion that the most important things in CME are the things that get press and blog coverage then you will find the most important thing in our industry is the relationship between industry and the healthcare community. Here are some recent examples of what I mean.
U.S. Sen. Grassley: Says drug companies should disclose payments, seek greater transparency
Friday, October 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley is continuing his campaign to establish transparency with the financial relationships between drug companies and medical professionals.

Grassley has conducted oversight and sought disclosure with physicians, especially those involved in influential taxpayer-sponsored medical research; medical journals containing ghostwritten articles; medical colleges; continuing medical education; and the patient advocacy community.

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CME outfitters: Guilty of Pro-Seroquel Bias, According to ACCME

The Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Monday, October 12, 2009

In ACCME’s testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on July 29 of this year, Dr. Murray Kopelow, the chief executive of ACCME, defended the integrity of the embattled organization in part by pointing out that they have beefed up their enforcement of anti-commercial bias policies.
Here is a story that exposes an accredited provider for alleged non-compliance.

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Here is another blog from Health Care Renewal on the same topic
More of the same

ACRE Responds to CEJA Report Financial Relationships with Industry in Continuing Medical Education

Policy and Medicine
October 19, 2009

The Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE), recently released their response to the AMA CEJA Report: Financial Relationships with Industry in Continuing Medical Education (1-I-09). Specifically, ACRE recommended that AMA House of Delegates reject the report or refer its recommendations back to committee. The report which includes some light editing from the report rejected by the House of Delegates this past summer needs to be rewritten from the beginning.

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Merck discloses a portion of US speaker fees

Medical Marketing & Media
October 20, 2009

Merck disclosed fees paid to US-based medical and scientific professionals who spoke at promotional medical education programs during the third quarter of 2009.

The first disclosure includes payments made to 1,078 patients between July 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009. Speakers during that period were paid an average of $1,548 per engagement, and participated in two engagements on average, according to the announcement. The company will disclose payments for the third and fourth quarters of 2009 in early 2010, at

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Extremely Low Rates of Bias Reported in Commercially Supported CME Activities

Policy and Medicine
October 20, 2009

The American Journal of Medicine (AMJ) recently produced a critical study titled: “Low Rates of Reporting Commercial Bias by Physicians Following Online Continuing Medical Education Activities.”

The study of over 1,000,000 physician CME participants, found very little reporting of bias (less than 1%) and no difference between bias reported in commercially supported vs. non supported CME activities.

The study was funded by Medscape, LLC, and written by employees of Medscape, and other authors who give a complete list of their disclosures in the article.

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Drug Companies Used Physician Education to Push Pills

Brian Vastag Science Journalist
October 20, 2009

Article Authors Note: A scientific journal recently commissioned this story from me, but after I reported and wrote it, the journal killed it. I think it’s an important story that serves the public good, so I’m posting it here to get it on the record. BV

Drug makers routinely exploited continuing education seminars as opportunities to market pills to doctors, company documents reveal.

Continuing medical education (CME) has exploded into a $2.3 billion business in the United States, with nearly half of the funds pouring in from drug and medical device manufacturers. Physicians must complete a certain number of CME courses each year to retain their medical licenses.

Today, the large pharmaceutical companies say their CME dollars support only independent education, with no input from the companies. But as recently as 2004, the documents show, marketing personnel played key roles in developing the seminars, treating CME as one element of their comprehensive sales plans.

“It is very clear…that continuing medical education has been used as marketing, and I think it continues to be,” said Allan Coukell, director of the Pew Prescription Project, which seeks to reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine.

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CME accreditation body plans exposure of courses violating drugmaker influence rules

FierceHealthcare: Daily News for Healthcare Executives
October 21, 2009

To remain certified, doctors must take continuing medical education courses each year. With about half of the $1 billion per year cost of these courses being picked up by pharmaceutical companies, questions have always lingered as to whether such sponsorships unduly influence physicians. That’s particularly the case, critics say, because the nonprofit that accredits course providers–the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education–hasn’t done enough to police drug industry influence on such content.

This week, however, the accrediting group has signaled that it’s ready to take a tougher stand on the issue of pharma influence on CME content. The head of the ACCME said this week that he would soon be revealing a list of classes and companies that already have violated rules against imposing commercial bias on this content.

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

A Call for a Standard Approach to PI CME CME in the News and Blogs

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