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July 18, 2001

The Pharmaceutical Industry and Continuing Education

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(3):302-304. doi:10.1001/jama.286.3.302

To the Editor: Dr Relman1 appropriately criticized the role of industry support for CME. When placed opposite to the article written by Mr Holmer,2 who spoke on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, some readers may nonetheless be lulled into complacency and fail to recognize the alarming proportions of the intrusion of industry in medical education. Holmer responded in the manner that industry has always responded when serious efforts are made to address the issue. He has recited the well-known litany of platitudes about the wonders that have come from a marvelous relationship between medicine and industry, the great progress that such a harmonious relationship has wrought to all concerned, and industry's great generosity and unselfish support of medical education and research. He never acknowledges any flaws in the relationship and insists on the perpetuation of the status quo, which needless to say is in industry's best interest.