Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Senate Finance Committee issues report on educational grants from industry

Well, here it finally is -- "Use of Educational Grants by Pharmaceutical Manufacturers" -- an excerpt from the Executive Summary of this report:

Indeed, ACCME’s records reveal numerous cases over the past 3
years in which companies had too much influence over the content of supposedly independent educational programs. In one case, a CME provider was cited for allowing a company to help select presenters; in another, the company allegedly influenced the setting and frequency of educational events. One CME provider was cited for promoting the ‘‘proprietary business interests of a commercial interest’’ during an educational program. During 2005 and 2006, 18 of the 76 CME providers reviewed by ACCME—or 24 percent—did not comply with at least one of the standards meant to ensure independence.

Another continuing concern for the Committee staff is the lack of proactive or real time oversight for educational grant programs. CME providers are not required to run prepared text by the FDA, ACCME, or any regulatory authority in advance of CME programs, and the FDA and ACCME do not routinely place monitors in CME audiences to assess what information is presented. Both the FDA and ACCME have intervened after the fact when presented with evidence that abuse occurred in educational grant programs. They do not, however, pre-approve or directly monitor educational grant programs and oversight actions may occur long after the problematic educational activity occurred. Even when ACCME determines that the CME providers repeatedly failed to distance themselves from the drug companies that sponsor them, ACCME can take years to impose penalties. Based on ACCME policies, it can take as long as 9 years from the date of a non-compliant educational activity for an educational provider to lose accreditation.
Click here to access the report.

1 comment:

Sue Pelletier said...

The question I, and probably a lot of other people, have, is what's next? What will the fallout of this finding be, if any? Will ACCME have to revamp its regulations yet again? Will the government step in now that the Committee has determined the industry isn't doing enough, in its opinion, to police itself?

What's next? Any thoughts?