Friday, August 17, 2007

CNS Spectrums Responds, Sort of....

On July 26, I sent CNS Spectrums a formal letter-to-the-editor outlining, in more genteel terms, the concerns about their commercially biased supplement on drug-drug interactions that I posted early this week here. I just received their response. It is the bland denial of wrongdoing that one might expect. There is no mention of Dr. DeVane's mysterious sea-change in his opinions about the clinical relevance of drug-drug interactions in EMSAM's competitors. Cheer up, truth fans. There is much more to this drama than meets the eye. Stay tuned.

August 14, 2007

Daniel Carlat, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Tufts University School of Medicine
The Carlat Psychiatry Report
42 Pleasant Street
P.O. Box 626
Newburyport MA 01950

Dear Dr. Carlat:

We have had the opportunity to review your Letter to the Editor dated Thursday, July 26, 2007 regarding the Expert Roundtable Supplement “Antidepressant Drug-Drug Interactions: Clinical Relevance and Risk Management,” by Drs. Nemeroff, Preskorn, and DeVane.

We have forwarded your concerns to the faculty members, reviewed the activity planning and independent peer review processes, and examined the participant evaluations that have been received to date. Our findings include the following:

• The faculty remains comfortable with the positions they have taken in this CME activity, both in their presentations as well as how the question and answer section of the activity was addressed.
• Our independent review processes — both for MBL Communications and i3 CME — established that there was no concern of commercial bias with either the live activity or the subsequent enduring supplement.
• Evaluation reports show that 91% of the participants believe this supplement activity to be “objective,balanced and of scientific rigor”.

The ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support were strictly adhered to and all decisions for this activity were made free of the control of the commercial interest. This includes the identification of the need, the determination of the educational objectives, the selection and the presentation of the content, and the identification of the persons that were in a position to control the content presented during the CME activity. In addition, the disclosure of commercial support was provided to the participants prior to the beginning of the activity as well as all relevant financial relationships of those planning members who had control over the content.

We would also like to note that the question and answer session is live and i3 CME has no influence on questions received from the audience. For many this is a rare opportunity to speak with the experts and questions received are not always directly related to the content.

Given the above information, it is our position that certifying this activity for AMA PRA Category I CreditTM is appropriate. Both our organizations have done due diligence in ensuring that this activity meets the standards for a certified medical education activity.


Sandra T. Weaver, MS, Vice President, CME Program Development, Compliance Officer, I3CME

Darren L. Brodeur,, CEO & Publisher, MBL Communications, Inc., Publishers of CNS Spectrums, Primary Psychiatry, and Psychiatry Weekly

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