Accreditation Council for CME Supports CMSS Code on Interactions with Companies

Council of Medical Specialty Societies ethics code states societies should adhere to ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM
Chicago, IL
April 29, 2010


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) strongly supports the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies. Released on April 21 by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the code provides guidance to medical specialty societies about appropriate interactions with health care companies.

The CMSS Code includes a section on continuing medical education (CME), which begins by stating that: "Societies will comply with ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, including by adopting policies and procedures designed to identify and manage conflicts of interest in company-supported society CME programs."

The ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities are the guidelines ACCME-accredited CME providers must follow to ensure that their educational activities are independent of commercial interests and designed to promote improvements in health care.

"The CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies is a strong endorsement of the voluntary, professional, self-regulation of CME," said Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive. "We believe the code delineates a manner of acting for societies and their leadership that is consistent with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support. We thank the CMSS and its member societies for their leadership in the development of this important code."

"The first statement about CME in the code says that specialty societies should adhere to the Standards for Commercial Support because we as a profession recognize that the ACCME's Standards for Commercial Support represent the profession’s voluntary, self-regulation," said Norman Kahn, MD, CMSS Executive Vice President and CEO.

The CMSS is a member organization of the ACCME. The CMSS code was developed by the CMSS Task Force on Professionalism and Conflict of Interest, chaired by Allen Lichter, MD, CEO, American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The code and the list of societies that have adopted it are available at the CMSS Web site.  


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education is a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting U.S. institutions that offer continuing medical education through a voluntary, self-regulatory system. The ACCME also has a system for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors for local organizations offering CME.

The ACCME's mission is to identify, develop and promote standards for quality continuing medical education that improves health care for patients and their communities. There are currently approximately 2,500 accredited CME providers in the United States, whose educational activities draw more than 17 million health care practitioner participants annually.

The ACCME's member organizations include the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S. Inc.

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