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14 posts from April 2008

April 30, 2008

AAMC and Prescription Project --Telling the Future

Wouldn't you like to look into a Chrystal ball and see the future, apparently telling the future is an art at the Prescription Project

On April 25th, several days in advance of the Report of the AAMC Task Force on Industry Funding of Medical Education the Prescription Project released “Toolkits to Guide Hospitals and Medical Schools with Conflicts of Interest

The guides follow the same flow as the recommendations coming out of the AAMC taskforce. . 

From the titles of the tool kit modules along with the recommendations in the tool kit it appears that they had significant time to digest the AAMC recommendations and take them several steps further to advance their cause (this to be expected).   

No wonder the Prescription Project was able to provide insights about the report for the New York Times article Group Urges Ban on Medical Giveaways prior to the public release of the report.

All participants in the taskforce signed an oath not to pre-release copies of the report until it became public.

It is disappointing that the AAMC /or some of their participants provided pre-release copies of the document to groups like the Prescription Project. 

The timing is also suspect, the AAMC told several academic physicians and taskforce participants that the report was coming out in mid June.  The Prescription Project must have been fully aware of the change in schedule by the AAMC, which suggests some one(s) at the AAMC gave them the heads up.  Perhaps their webmaster posted their tool kits on Friday, thinking the AAMC report would be released that day, and made a "mistake".

This type of coordination begs the question what role if any did the Prescription Project and the Institute of Medicine as a Profession have in developing the drafts of the report that were submitted to the taskforce.

If the process is to be open for some, it should be open for all.

I guess for AAMC and Prescription Project transparency goes one way or maybe they don't believe that tranparency applies to them, they say transparency is not enough, what if it is not at all.

Or perhaps they were just looking into their chrystal ball.

April 29, 2008

Open for Interpretation (ACCME Post March Board Notes)

The ACCME on April 17th posted ACCME summary of March 08 board of directors meeting. 

Key Points:

A)     Expanding office (adding more office space)

B)      Has plenty of money ($5,000,000 in net assets)

C)      They are expanding their education initiatives to include physicians and other healthcare providers

D)     The board met with the Chief Council of the US HHS Office of Inspector General, and an assistant councilor (wouldn't it be interesting to know what they learned).

E)      Offered that the board agreed “that under some circumstances, organizations that are currently exempted from being considered an ACCME-defined commercial interest could become one when they own all or part of an entity that is aligned in partnership with a firm taking an FDA-regulated product to market. 

a.       This may mean that additional provider types (Hospitals, Universities, and Medical Societies) may in the future come under the same rules as medical communications companies and have to adopt firewall policies that are submitted and acceptable to the ACCME.  (See Ask ACCME Standards for Commercial Support 1: Independence)

b.      This was in response to a December 17, 2007 meeting by NAMMECC and the Coalition for Healthcare Communications with the ACCME senior leadership.

Quick Clip

Something positive to start your day,  In this morning’s Boston Globe an op-ed column by David A. Shaywitz, MD consultant and Dennis A.  Ausiello, MD the physician-in-chief of Mass General.  Titled: Scientific research with an asterisk

In addition this editorial received coverage from the Wall Street Journal Blog:

Harvard Doc: Academia Needs More Contact With Drug-makers

It is good to know that most physicians are resonable in their expectations of life.


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