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June 10, 2008

AMA CEJA – Medical Specialty Societies Say Vote No

The Council for Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) an organization representing medical societies with over 500,000 physician members, released their letter outlining their position on the CEJA Report Industry Support of Professional Education in Medicine.

Their position was a resounding no:

“CMSS  does not support recommendation 1 b) of CEJA Report 1-A-08, and therefore cannot support adoption by the AMA House of Delegates of AMA CEJA Report 1-A-08 in its current wording.”

They had significant concerns with the report:

“The report, unfortunately, fails to distinguish between promotional activities and certified CME.” 

CMSS also went into great lengths to show how much effort has gone into “fixing the system” to protect against bias especially since the Senate Finance Committee Report and the new ACCME Guidelines for Commercial Support.

They bring up some very good points on the outcome of such a proposal.

The potential unintended consequence of adoption of CEJA recommendation 1 b):

The elimination of commercial support for certified CME will significantly reduce the availability of certified CME, produced by accredited CME providers, such as medical specialty societies.

We expect the funds previously devoted to this support will be channeled by industry to promotional activities, including promotional educational activities for physicians.

In short, the result of adoption and implementation of CEJA recommendation 1 b) will likely be a rebalancing of education for physicians, with significantly less unbiased certified CME and significantly more biased promotional education.

We applaud the efforts of CMSS to bring a balanced perspective to such an important issue. 

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