Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Follow-up on CME: ACCME Caves to AHA

In the two previous posts about the recent CME rules put out by ACCME:

--I included references to the very angry reactions to the ACCME ruling from both NIH and the American Heart Association. Thanks to loyal reader Marilyn Mann, I can now report that the AHA's anger at least seems to have been effective:

In short, first ACCME first said that scientists who are paid full-time by industry cannot give CME talks, for credit, about their company's products. (I mistakenly said at first they could not give any talks at all, which seemed way unreasonable, and then corrected that misimpression.) That led the leadership of AHA to have a hissy fit. That led ACCME to change its mind and restore the CME credits they had been prepared to strip from the AHA's planned fall conference. The reason given was that somehow AHA had persuaded ACCME that their internal controls over speaker bias were sufficiently strict to be sure that no one says anything out of line. Marilyn asked me how to explain this as the ACCME decision making process seemed pretty opaque to her. I said, join the club.

My pals who follow this more closely than I, as well as numerous previous news accounts, consider AHA one of the most-in-bed-with-industry medical organizations, well known for accepting huge sums and for filling their guideline panels with conflicted folks.


Anonymous said...

To clarify one point in your entry:

The ACCME does not give credit for the AHA meeting. The ACCME approves the AHA - as well as thousands of other CME providers - to provide accredited activity where physicians can earn the CME credits they need. Also, I think it's important for your readers to know that a number of organizations have raised concerns about these regulations with the ACCME over the past couple of years. While the AHA's actions received more publicity than some others, they were not the only ones questioning the ACCME about this issue.

Howard Brody said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the clarification. Sorry for my sloppy word choice about who gives credit to whom for what.