Mayo Clinic investigators surveyed attendees of 4 of their own Internal Medicine CME programs, 2 of which received pharmaceutical industry support and two of which did not. Respondents’ attitudes regarding industry sponsorship were evaluated. The results were not surprising. Overall, a majority (about 58%) had no general preference as to whether an event received sponsorship or not. On the other hand, a similar majority (62%) believed that a CME program should accept support it would reduce the cost for attendees.
A synthesis of current recommendations regarding industry CME support by the AMA, ACP and ACCME was given by the authors, who believe that adherence to such guidelines will substantially reduce inappropriate industry influence and bias. In effect these recommendations call for unrestricted grants, conflict of interest disclosure by speakers, no industry role in determining content, support given to program organizers rather than the participants and safeguards against bias. I agree.