Friday, May 15, 2009

AMA on Ethics and CME

The CME (Continuing Medical Education) industry has gone through some significant changes over the last several years. Have you been keeping up with all the changes?

The American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) recently released a report titled, "Financial Relationships with Industry in Continuing Medical Education." This report outlines the ethics of industry supported education - according to the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA).

Please note that advisory report will be up for consideration at the AMA's upcoming annual House of Delegates meeting. This report is not necessarily the AMA's take/perspective/position on ethics and CME.

Here's the bottom line from the CEJA report:
  • It is ethically preferable to accept funding only from non-commercial supporters (this would probably mean that doctors would have to pay for their CME credits).
  • It is ethically permissible to accept funding from commercial supporters (such as pharmaceutical companies, biotech, medical device, etc.). This generally leads to free CME.
The world of medicine is constantly changing and physicians need every opportunity to keep up with the latest clinical development. If they have to pay for CME, will they be less inclined to learn? Does the abundant supply of free CME cause physicians to practice evidence-based medicine? How does free CME impact patient outcomes?

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