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May 14, 2003

Defending Professional IndependenceACCME's Proposed New Guidelines for Commercial Support of CME

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 2003;289(18):2418-2420. doi:10.1001/jama.289.18.2418

On January 14 of this year, the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released a draft of proposed new and stronger standards for the commercial support of continuing medical education (CME)1 and requested comments from the medical community. The following month, the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), a legal think tank, issued a highly critical commentary,2 in which it recommended that the ACCME withdraw its proposals because they were unnecessary, counterproductive, and possibly even illegal. Both the proposed new ACCME standards and the WLF critique raise issues of the greatest importance to our profession with respect to the growing intrusion of the pharmaceutical companies into medical education. These issues need to be discussed and clearly understood before the ACCME issues its final guidelines.

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