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ACCME Begins to Address Commercial Support Topics

April 13, 2009

ACCME Addresses Commercial Support

The ACCME is taking its leadership and regulatory role seriously by addressing several issues related to commercially supported continuing medical education. In addition to announcing that several accredited organizations were put on probation, the ACCME released a memo summarizing the March 2009 ACCME Board meeting.

Highlights of the ACCME summary

1. After considering comments/feedback to its summer 2008 Calls-for-Comment, “The ACCME will not be taking any action to end the commercial support of accredited continuing medical education.” 2. “The ACCME believes that the CME system’s internal controls provided by the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support and associated ACCME policies, support the development of independent continuing medical education that a) is free of commercial bias and b) does not result in an inclination by professionals to direct care that is unwarranted or unnecessary." 3. The ACCME “will consider creating a new designation and review process for providers that wish to identify their program of CME as ‘Commercial Support Free’ and/or “Promotional Teacher and Author Free.’” 4. “The ACCME will consider creating an independent granting entity that will accept unconditional and unrestricted donations, from all U.S. sources, that will be distributed to ACCME Recognized and Accredited organizations to be used for the development and presentation of ACCME-compliant continuing medical education.” While the debate about CME funding, independence from commercial influence, and bias will continue, the ACCME is beginning to take a stand in support of its myriad standards, policies, and accreditation criteria that ensure high-quality CME. If you have any questions about the ACCME, commercial support, or any other questions about the CME enterprise, feel free to contact us here