Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Want to ban industry supported CME? Evidence please!

Draconian policy measures have unintended consequences. Proponents of measures against industry supported CME should sustain a burden of proof that such measures would help patients. What is the evidence?

This month the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released a report of a literature review on this subject. Their conclusion:

We found no studies that directly addressed the question of whether commercial support produces bias in accredited CME activities.

Whether or not the content is biased, do supported activities result in increased prescribing of sponsors’ products? The only two studies that found such an association were based on decades old data reflecting CME activities which predated today’s policies and standards and are not on the table for discussion in today’s debate. And, although there has been limited study regarding the influence on prescribing there are no data concerning the impact on patient outcomes.

Via Policy and Medicine.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it's not producing a return on investment for the sponsor, then why are they sponsoring it? Altruistic support to further general medical education for the health of the community? please.

R. W. Donnell said...

It may be producing a return on investment, not that that's inherently wrong. It's not a very strong argument against industry supported CME. It says nothing about the accuracy of the content.