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GlaxoSmithKline's Marketing Payments Announcement

January 09, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline's Marketing Payments Announcement

Today we are going to be talking about GlaxoSmithKline’s recent announcement about payments to physicians for marketing purposes. In December of 2013, GSK decided to no longer to pay physicians directly to do one of three activities: •Speak on their behalf •Attend conferences on their behalf •Directly market products on their behalf GlaxoSmithKline has clarified that they still will pay physicians consulting fees, but this is for market research and not to pitch a product. Unfortunately there has been a lot of confusion between GlaxoSmithKline's decision and accredited CME activities that are supported by IME grants. There are three reasons why accredited CME is not related to the GSK announcement, besides the fact that GSK stated in their announcement that these decisions about marketing activities had no impact on IME grant funding.

GSK’s decision is about marketing, Not CME

The FDA, The Department of Human Services, and the ACCME have all agreed in recent years that there are two types of activities that can be supported by pharmaceutical companies: Promotional activities, or marketing and sales and Accredited CME activities, which are independent from promotional influence. GlaxoSmithKline made their decision to stop funding promotional activities, NOT accredited CME, which are completely different.

CME Rules Keep Pharma Out

Existing CME rules keep pharmaceutical manufacturers out of all financial transactions for accredited CME. The only way pharmaceutical companies can support CME activities are through IME grants for accredited CME, which make up less than 1/3rd of total CME support. In addition, there can be no direct payments from pharma companies and no pharma influence over faculty, attendees, or content of accredited IME activities.

The ACCME prohibits bias in CME content

Now obviously when we talk about marketing activities, there may be the potential for bias in those activities. However, again, it is important to note the distinction between marketing and promotional activities and accredited CME activities, which are completely separate from each other and have no impact on one another. The ACCME also requires that accredited providers track and measure bias, and all CME content must be evidence based and grounded in science. As you can see, GSK’s recent decision regarding marketing activities has nothing to do with accredited CME activities, which are independent and separate from marketing and sales. As always, if you have any questions about CME topics, including GSK's recent announcement, feel free to contact us here at any time. For Global, I'm Stephen Lewis. Have a great day.