How did the change in the definition of a commercial interest announced in August 2007 affect already accredited providers that might be owned by a commercial interest?

Last Revised: 
November 11, 2011

As of August 2007 the ACCME defined a commercial interest as "any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients." The ACCME worked individually with accredited providers that were affected by this definition as they transitioned to an independent corporate structure that is acceptable in the context of the ACCME's Standards for Commercial Support. When the redefinition was announced in August 2007, it was the ACCME's expectation that all accredited providers examine their organizational structure to ascertain whether they, their parent or their sister organizations (if such relationships existed within their structure) would meet the modified definition of commercial interest. If so, they were required to restructure to remain eligible to be accredited. The ACCME allowed those providers a two-year grace period, until August 2009, to alter their organizational structure and separate their CME program from the commercial interest. This would ensure that the following decisions are made free of the control of the commercial interest:

(a) identification of CME needs;

(b) determination of educational objectives;

(c) selection and presentation of content;

(d) selection of all persons and organizations that will be in a position to control the content of the CME;

(e) selection of educational methods; and

(f) evaluation of the activity.

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