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.