Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is industry supported CME biased?

According to Daniel Carlat’s spin of a recent ACCME literature review, yes, hopelessly so. But the review concluded: “…to date there is no empirical evidence to support or refute the hypothesis that CME activities are biased.” Here’s what the review actually found:

Pharmaceutical promotions influence attitudes and prescribing---something we’ve known for a long time.

Very little of the literature focuses on CME and almost all the studies predated the first standards (1992) for commercially supported CME. Moreover, no studies directly examined the content of the CME activities in question.

Although not the focus of the review, the authors comment that no studies have assessed the effect on patient outcomes. Those are the outcomes that matter, aren’t they?

No comments: