The Stanford University School of Medicine adopted a new policy that says it will no longer accept commercial support for specific activities in continuing medical education. The policy went into effect September 1.

It’s not a complete ban of commercial support. The school may still accept grants from pharmaceutical and medical device companies as long as they are for broad areas, such as medical, pediatric, and surgical specialties; diagnostic and imaging technologies; or health policy and disease prevention. If a grant were for something specific, like COPD for example, that would not be permissible.

School officials believe that industry-directed funding may compromise the integrity of CME. In 2007, Dean Philip Pizzo, MD, appointed a task force to look at future options for CME at the school. “We want CME to be unbiased and science-driven, and we don’t want it to be influenced by marketing. We want our educational activities for whomever we are serving—whether it’s our own faculty or our colleagues in the community, locally or globally—to be true to the science and the evidence, and not be influenced by any kind of financial industry support,” said Pizzo, in a press release.

Under the new structure, funds will be channeled through the school’s CME office, which will work with faculty to determine how best to use the money to meet the needs of learners.

Look for more details on the program in the December issue of Medical Meetings.