Thursday, March 19, 2009

APA Votes to Phase out Industry-Funded CME

The American Psychiatric Association has officially decided to phase out all industry-funded symposia that take place at their annual meetings. The vote occurred at the meeting of the organization's Board of Trustees last weekend.

The Board was presented with several recommendations of the "Ad Hoc Work Group on Financial Relationships between the APA and the Pharmaceutical Industry," a group which was formed by President Nada Stotland one year ago. I am one of several members of that group.

The official phrasing of the decision was: "The Board of Trustees voted to direct the Medical Director/CEO to phase out industry supported symposia (ISS)."

The timing of the phase-out is unclear.

In related business, the Board voted to "direct the Medical Director/CEO to explore the elimination of meals provided by pharmaceutical companies in conjunction with educational activities (as of 2010)." Basically, this means that even if some symposia are allowed in 2010 and in subsequent years, they may not be allowed to serve meals.

The APA is now the first national medical society to separate industry influence from continuing medical education. Let us hope that other organizations take the hint.


Anonymous said...

All I can say is I am glad your work is now completed, and I will not hold my breath waiting to see the APA literally putting this into action. If you are going to the APA conference in May, I would advise you change your name, wear a flak jacket, and earplugs, because your colleagues are not going to be happy this is the last free ride they are getting, if this edict is true. And what a final ride it will be, I would bet.

Like an addict's last run! Not directed to you Dr Carlat, but you know there is likely sizeable truth to this prediction.

I can't type the abbreviation for laughing out loud 'cause I hate that shorthand, but I am!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Dr. Carlat! Thank you for helping other society members find their way back...

James M. La Rossa Jr. said...

This is a courageous first step. Make no mistake, though, the devil will be in the details as to how this is executed. Will industry be allowed to sponsor CME during the APA convocation at off-site hotels? If so, will the APA allow them to advertise those programs at the convention center? Can they buy advertising for those programs in the APA dailies? Will companies be allowed to sponsor CME activities from their booths? And, finally, is the APA willing to subsidize accreditation fees to make up for the loss of industry sponsorship? So many questions come to mind. All in all, kudos to the APA, DC, and to everyone involved.

Anonymous said...

Good job, glad to see the APA doing that. Congrats from the Unbranded Doctors!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a very good vote. I can't wait to see it come to fruition. I'm tired of the influence of pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are the way that doctors provide medicine.

-- Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Very nice work, and I hope that this actually does get put into action. I also hope that this whole thing doesn't end up as some sort of bureaucratic nightmare in the implementation. http;//