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September 5, 1990

New Guidelines Expected in 1991 for Relationship of Continuing Education, Financial Support

JAMA. 1990;264(9):1080. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450090012002

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CONFLICTS of interest between continuing medical education (CME) providers and the pharmaceutical industry have reached a critical point. But the good news is, these two groups are finally talking in an organized, meaningful way.

How can CME programs enjoy the billions of dollars spent on marketing by the pharmaceutical industry (estimates range between $1.4 and $4.5 billion per year, or about $5000 per physician), and at the same time, preserve their autonomy, quality, and scientific integrity?

This was the subject of a landmark 2-day working conference for CME providers and the pharmaceutical industry sponsored by the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Society of Medical College Directors of Continuing Medical Education. Cosponsors were the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education. Of the 135 participants, more than half were representatives from 27 pharmaceutical companies.

The goal: to reach