The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education took another step toward releasing a revision of its Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education at a Council meeting held in July in Chicago.
While the specific actions taken at the meeting were not available at press time,'s Chief Executive Murray Kopelow, MD, says a version of the revised Standards was presented by the Task Force on the Standards for Commercial Support, and the Council considered it to be ready to move on to the next phase.
At a hearing held by the ACCME's Task Force on the Standards last summer, participants raised the issues of whether the Standards should incorporate the American Medical Association's Ethical Opinion on Gifts to Physicians, address disclosing gifts offered in conjunction with CME activities, do away with off-label content disclosure, and provide a broader definition of “commercial supporter.” Will these concerns be addressed in the revised standards? Kopelow says, “You'll see in the new Standards that we've heard the voices and we've responded.”
Kopelow says the next step is to bring the Standards to focus groups to make sure the revised language is appropriate. Then the revised Standards will go to ACCME's member organizations to vet them in principle.
“The process should be finished by the end of October at the latest,” Kopelow says, adding that the Council wants the new Standards to be disseminated to the CME community well in advance of the 28th Alliance for CME Annual Conference in Dallas early next year “so we can make good use of the Alliance meeting to discuss it.”
As MM went to press, the Council announced it had adopted a policy concerning evidence-based CME, stating that all recommendations concerning patient care must be evidence-based, and that providers are not eligible for accreditation if they present activities that promote treatments whose risks or dangers outweigh the benefits or are ineffective in patient care. CME providers had raised many concerns when the draft policy was issued for comment. We will follow up in the next issue with analyses of the final policy and providers' responses.