Intended for healthcare professionals


US Senate committee investigates conflicts of interest in industry funded medical education

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 04 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3139
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Prominent academic doctors and a medical students’ leader have criticised continuing medical education funded by industry at a hearing of the US Senate Special Subcommittee on Aging.

    However, a representative of the accrediting group defended its work. Murray Kopelow said that his group had recently put in place stronger guidelines on industry funding.

    The Senate committee’s hearing, chaired by Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, on 29 July 2009, focused on conflicts of interest in the continuing medical education courses that most US doctors have to take.

    Industry funding for accredited continuing medical education increased from $302m (£180m; €210m) in 1998 to $1.2bn in 2006 and accounts for about half of the funding for continuing education.

    “Large corporations do not typically spend …

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