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April 18, 2001

Separating Continuing Medical Education From Pharmaceutical Marketing

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(15):2009-2012. doi:10.1001/jama.285.15.2009

The pharmaceutical industry has gone too far. It is assuming a role in continuing medical education (CME) that is inappropriate for an industry with a vested interest in selling prescription drugs. Worse, many medical educational institutions not only allow the industry's encroachments but also welcome and even solicit pharmaceutical company participation in programs that should be the profession's sole responsibility. As a result, CME is now so closely linked with the marketing of pharmaceuticals that its integrity and credibility are being questioned. The problem is not new, but it has recently grown to alarming proportions.

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