Stanford University’s medical school announced this week new restrictions on educational contributions by drug and medical device companies, which turn out to be among the strictest in the nation.
The rules are an effort to limit industry influence on physician practice. Currently, the continuing education programs tend to follow the market’s needs and not necessarily the best advancements for optimal patient care.
"The school will no longer accept funds from pharmaceutical or device companies that are targeted to specific programs, as industry-directed
funding may compromise the integrity of these education programs for
practicing physicians," a press release states.
SiliconValley.com reported that "Drug and medical-device company
contributions for continuing medical education have surged nationwide
from $302 million in 1998 to $1.2 billion in 2006, according to the
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Stanford
officials said about $1.87 million — or 38 percent — of the medical
school’s budget for continuing education came from industry sources in
The more important thing though is the limited value of CME in general which for the most part right now is like pouring money down a hole.
Bravo Stanford! AAMC is out front on this one, and hopefully more AMC’s will follow…
Good for Stanford! This is long overdue. A difficult decision but the consumer benefits.
That should be law or common policy (as well as stopping direct to consumer advertising). The industry sponsored CMEs are actually not that bad (esp. when you stay aware that they are biased toward the sponsoring company’s product), but they are just so selective in their topics (in my specialty, it is treatment of neuropathic pain, epilepsy, migraine, MS over and over and over and over), instead of having a didactic approach (e.g. symptom based education).