Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The $1.2 billion CME crisis: Can eleemosynary replace industry support?

Henry A. Nasrallah, MD


Change is coming for continuing medical education (CME). A cloud of conflict of interest has shrouded any person or activity that receives pharmaceutical funding, including the venerable institution of CME. This is a big deal because all health practitioners rely on CME programs to meet requirements for license renewal and to keep up with medical advances.

Attitudes about commercial support of CME have changed, with some organizations calling for elimination of all industry funding. Pressure to strip commercial support from CME is equivalent to draining blood from a living organism; it can have dire consequences if done precipitously.

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