On April 1, 2004, the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), by unanimous vote, adopted the updated ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education.
This article summarizes when it is and is not appropriate for pharmaceutical companies to support independent CME programs.
John Ukropec, PhD, Sr. Manager at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, agreed that the thrust and purpose of CME is nicely summarized in the preamble to the ACCME guidelines, namely "The purpose of CME is to enhance the physician's ability to care for patients. It is the responsibility of the accredited provider of the CME activity is designed primarily for that purpose." He was speaking at the Barnett International conference, "Defining the Value of Continuing Medical Education" held on March 13th and 14th 2004 in Philadelphia.
Charts based upon data from the latest ACCME annual reports show the growth in commercial support for CME.