Editorials

Commercial funding of accredited continuing medical education

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e810 (Published 16 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e810
  1. Jeffrey A Tabas, professor of emergency medicine1,
  2. Robert B Baron, associate dean for graduate and continuing medical education2
  1. 1University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
  2. 2UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
  1. jeff.tabas{at}emergency.ucsf.edu

Is decreasing but more needs to happen

Funding from the drug industry and manufacturers of medical devices supports a large proportion of costs for accredited continuing medical education (CME) in the United States. However, newly released data from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) show that funding for CME from drug companies and medical device makers (including advertising and exhibit income) fell in 2010 to $1.1bn (£0.7bn; €0.84bn), the third consecutive annual decline from a high of $1.5bn in 2007, and the lowest figure since 2002.1 The proportion of total CME funding from commercial support, advertising, and exhibit income has steadily decreased from a high of 62% in 2004 to the current rate of 49%.

In recent years, there has been increasing debate among the public and medical profession about the role of industry funding in medical education. Several prominent organisations—including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Institute of Medicine, and the Josiah Macy Jr Foundation—have called for limits to the amounts and scope of commercial support for …

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