Compliance Reminder: Commercial Interest Definition

August 27, 2013
Posted by: 
Tamar Hosansky

Make Sure You Comply with Commercial Interest Definition; New Q&A

Please read–and check to ensure that your organization is in compliance. The ACCME expanded the definition of commercial interest in 2007; however, in 2013 the ACCME is finding that some providers may not have incorporated the expanded definition into their processes. The current definition reads: "A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients." Some providers have not added “marketing, re-selling, or distributing” to their processes and tools. CME providers must use the complete definition.

Failure to use the complete definition could cause an accredited provider to:

  • partner with an ACCME-defined commercial interest;
  • collect incomplete information related to the relevant financial relationships of those in control of content; and therefore
  • not resolve all conflicts of interest; and/or
  • not disclose all relevant financial relationships to learners.

This could lead to one or more noncompliance findings in Criterion 7 (Standards for Commercial Support 1, 2, and 6). Some providers that have recently been reviewed have received notice of our concerns. Other providers would be wise to evaluate their processes and determine if they have also failed to include the complete definition.

We have produced a series of new Ask ACCME Q&A to support your compliance in this area. For more information, including links to tools, sample forms, and more Q&A, please see Resources for Implementing the Standards for Commercial Support.