Life Science Compliance Update

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June 27, 2008

ACCME Senator Kohl Get's in the Act

The ACCME received a letter from Senator Kohl, Chairman of the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, concerned about the size of support of CME from commercial supporters, the perceived influence they may have on physician prescribing patterns.

In particular they are concerned with CME courses to encourage physicians to use their products for potentially controversial medical practices.

Apparently one company is supporting CME around herpes tests for pregnant women, a practice that is not supported by ACOG, CDC or the US preventive services taskforce.  According to the Senator the anti viral therapy is potential dangerous to the baby.

“I am troubled by any attempt to persuade physicians to use a drug treatment for any reason other than the patient's condition and the drug's effectiveness in treating it.”

Therefore, it was with great interest that the Committee took note of the ACCME's credentialing standards and practices for CME courses.

“In an effort to better understand the ACCME's credentialing standards and practices for CME courses, please provide us with the following documentation and information:

1.) a copy and written description of the accreditation process for CME courses;

2.) any criteria the ACCME uses, as part of the accreditation process, regarding the scientific validity of course content;

3.) any mechanisms the ACCME has in place to ensure that no undue influence by any industry is being exerted through CME courses; and

4.) any further plans the ACCME may have in place to develop such mechanisms.

Please respond fully to this request by close of business on Friday, July 7, 2008.”

The ACCME and their providers have gone to great lengths to ensure the scientific validity, and no undue influence by industry and are currently working to strengthen their system even further.  The Senator should be pleased by what he receives from the ACCME.

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