Relationships between Physicians and Industry
Much has been investigated and written about the so-called potential bias between physicians and industry, which implies that physicians may be swayed in the way they treat patients by accepting financial reimbursement from industry for teaching, research, and/or consultation. The Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE) has finalized its Guidelines on Relationships between Physicians and Industry. These establish a “middle road” approach that “values transparency but does not harm patients or slow innovation in the process.” They are published in the November/December 2012 issue of Endocrine Practice.
A brief summary of the Guidelines includes:
- Collaboration between physicians and industry improves patient care.
- Corporate support of medical societies is of value to scientists, clinicians, and their patients.
- Continuing Medical Education (CME) is protected from commercial bias by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support and the CME Coalition Code of Conduct.
- Even though ACRE supports full disclosure by physicians of financial relationships with industry, it rejects the terms “conflict of interest” and “competing interests.” Rather, “acknowledgment of support” is more appropriate.
What is your opinion of the assumption that physicians may be swayed in the way they treat patients by accepting financial reimbursement from industry for teaching, research, and/or consultation?
In industry-funded CME, have you personally witnessed commercial bias in the content presented?
Do you value industry-funded CME?
Do you believe that CME events should be funded by physicians?