The ACCME received a letter regarding an online activity about disease treatment offered by an accredited provider. The complainant alleged that one of the clinical care recommendations in the activity does not align with the recommendations currently accepted by the profession of medicine. The complainant also questioned whether the author’s potential conflicts of interest were identified and resolved.
The ACCME issued a Notice of Complaint to the accredited provider, asking about its compliance with the ACCME’s Criterion 7 (Standard for Commercial Support 2: Resolution of Personal Conflicts of Interest) and Content Validation Policy. The ACCME asked the provider to describe how the activity is in compliance with the ACCME’s Content Validation Policy and to describe and provide evidence of the implementation of its process to identify and resolve conflicts of interest in the activity.
In its response, the accredited provider explained that a month prior to receiving the ACCME’s Notice of Complaint, a learner had questioned the recommendations in the activity. In response to that inquiry, the provider had reviewed the activity content and as a result, made changes including the addition of more current references to support the activity’s clinical care recommendations and more description about the guidelines that include the clinical care treatment options in order to provide context for the recommendations. The provider also explained that it resolved conflicts of interest by validating that the content was based on best evidence as described in the medical literature and by vetting the content at multiple levels.
The ACCME determined that the provider’s own review and improvements to the activity addressed the issues in the complaint, and sent the provider a Notice of Compliance.