Role of Commercial Interest Employees as Speakers in CME Activities

The ACCME received a complaint regarding a CME course. The complainant questioned the CME provider’s compliance with the ACCME’s Standard for Commercial Support 1: Independence because some of the speakers were employees of ACCME-defined commercial interests and appeared to be speaking on topics that were related to their company's line of business. The ACCME has said that employees of commercial interests cannot serve as planners or speakers in accredited CME activities if the content relates to their employer’s business lines and products.

The ACCME issued a Notice of Complaint. In its response, the CME provider explained that employees of commercial interests were not involved in planning or speaking about content related to their employer’s business lines or products.  The committee had asked speakers from ACCME-defined commercial interests to present their perspective only on the regulatory hurdles involved in the drug and device approval process. This topic is not related to company business lines or products. These speakers were required to submit their presentations to the course director and the course director was required to provide a written attestation that the content was only on the regulatory hurdles involved in the drug and device approval process, valid, and in compliance with the provider’s guidelines, which are based on the ACCME Accreditation Criteria. The CME provider’s response demonstrated that the provider has mechanisms in place to ensure that employees of commercial interests were not involved in planning or speaking about content related to their employer’s business lines or products. The complaint was closed.

 

Published Date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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