UNITE HERE to Deliver Petitions Calling for End of Big Pharma Influence on Continuing Medical Education Activities
Chicago, IL – UNITE HERE recently delivered thousands of petitions to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) board meeting in Chicago on July 16. Patients, doctors, and members of the public can still sign the petition at NoMoreDrugMoney.org. Copies of the petition signatures were also delivered to leading medical organizations and doctors in cities around the country.
The petition calls on ACCME to change the rules and eliminate pharmaceutical industry funding from Continuing Medical Education (CME) events. Many patients, including large medical facilities, are concerned that financial relationships can influence what a doctor prescribes. Congress is currently debating a bill that could allow doctors to take more gifts from drug companies behind closed doors.
According to the union, “CME should stand for Commercial Marketing Efforts,” said Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD. Director of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center Project that promotes rational prescribing. “Industry-funded CME promotes the use of expensive drugs by promoting diseases, some of which have been invented by drug companies.”
Doctors had $6.49 billion in financial relationships with drug companies in 2014, compared to only $3.53 billion reported in the Open Payments database in 2013. The ACCME 2014 Annual Report shows that out of $2.5 billion in total CME spending, $675 million of that came from Big Pharma. That number increased from $659 million in 2013.
Stanford University banned pharmaceutical industry funding of CME events in 2008. A statement on the Stanford website reads: “The School of Medicine will no longer accept support from pharmaceutical or device companies for specific programs in continuing medical education, as industry-directed funding may compromise the integrity of education programs for physicians…” Continue>
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