Unforced Error: Pharma Supporter Attacks The Wrong Paper

If you’re going to attack a position you don’t like and also attempt to claim the moral and intellectual high ground it’s a good idea to get your basic facts rights. Even more– and it’s so obvious it shouldn’t need to be said– if it’s a scientific paper you are attacking you need to make sure you’re…

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Does Anyone Really Think Industry Funded CME Is Independent?

Does anyone really think that commercially supported continuing medical education (CME) is truly independent? Or does anyone really think that it has the primary goal of delivering quality medical education? A few weeks ago John Fauber and colleagues wrote an important story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and MedPage Today about the role of CME in helping…

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Low T And High BS: The Role of CME

Most of my readers are keenly aware of the explosion in the marketing of testosterone products in recent years. Now a joint investigation from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today uncovers the key role played by continuing medical education (CME) programs funded by companies that make prescription testosterone products. The story, by reporters John Fauber, Coulter…

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Can You Test A Drug And Also Say Negative Things About It?

In my last post I raised the possibility that Steve Nissen, a highly influential cardiologist who has been an outspoken critic of industry influence in medicine, might have his own conflict of interest (COI) problem. In response, another cardiologist, James Stein, said that my post was unfair in its treatment of Nissen and failed to…

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More Sunshine: CMS Wants Companies To Report Payments To Physicians For Medical Education

In a major reversal of policy, CMS wants industry to report payments to physicians for continuing medical education. The move would eliminate from the Physician Payment Sunshine Act the current exemption for CME. Initially CMS’s  proposal for implementation of the Sunshine Act required industry to report payments to physicians for CME programs. But after considerable debate and lobbying…

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A CME Program Begs The Question: Promotion Or Education?

In recent years defenders of commercially-supported continuing medical education (CME) have claimed that the industry has cleaned up its act and that CME programs today are largely free of the abuses that were so common not so long ago. Perhaps. But there are still plenty of examples of programs that violate the fundamental principle that…

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