The ACCME, which oversees accredited continuing medical education (CME), has been busy trying to keep its head above the swirling waters of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored CME. By that I mean it has made several proposals lately to shore up its rules for keeping bias out of industry-sponsored CME in response to criticisms from all quarters (some critics even suggest that ACCME be abolished! See "Is it time to end pharma sponsored CME?").
Keeping up with all this is Dr. Carlat on his blog. He reports on ACCME's latest proposal, which states: "Persons paid to create, or present, promotional materials on behalf of commercial interests cannot control the content of accredited continuing medical education on that same content."
"The ACCME now finds that there are individuals who are directly involved in the promotion of products and services of commercial interests but who are not employees of the commercial interests, e.g., medical writers who create promotional material for FDA-regulated firms or physicians who are paid by commercial interests to deliver promotional content to other physicians. Some of these same writers may be involved in writing or editing the content of accredited CME activities. Some of these same physicians go on to control the content of accredited CME activities on the same subject for which they have been paid to deliver promotional content. Participants in such activities have asked the ACCME if they are, in effect, ACCME- defined commercial interests – and therefore excluded from controlling the content of CME."ACCME asks:
- Should those who write promotional materials be excluded from having any role in writing CME content?
- Should those who teach in promotional activities be excluded from teaching in independent CME activities?
I've added these questions to my survey on industry-sponsored CME, which I renamed "Is Pharma-Sponsored CME Biased?"
If you haven't given me your opinion on industry-sponsored CME yet, please take 2 minutes to respond to the survey, which you can find here. If you have already taken the survey and wish to respond to these added questions, you can do that as long as you are using the same computer and have not deleted cookies.
As always, you can remain anonymous or you can identify yourself if you wish to be quoted in a Pharma Marketing News article I plan to write for the October, 2008 issue. I keep all comments confidential and, if I quote someone, I always let them review it before publication.
Meanwhile, enjoy this double-dipping classic: