The CME Coalition submitted the following comments to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) in response to a request for comments "on a proposal that would prohibit the use of corporate logos and the mention of corporate divisions in disclosures of commercial support":
The CME Coalition (www.cmecoalition.org) is a consortium of stakeholders representing continued quality improvement and evidence-based medicine in the Continuing Medical Education enterprise. While we support the ACCME's stated goal of ensuring that CME is developed independent from any commercial influences, the proposed policy on disclosure of commercial support at CME activities actually may decrease transparency.
In the ACCME commentary on this proposal, the organization states that the current Standards for Commercial Support already create a "firewall" between CME providers and industry promotion by not allowing the promotion of any products. Transparency rules require that learners identify any corporate grant support, and the logo is the company's readily identified symbol. Relegating the support of CME to a text name only would require learners to search in greater detail than currently required to identify the source of any potential commercial support of a CME activity. Combined with the current, effective firewall found in the standards and policies of the ACCME is significant evidence to show a lack of bias in CME activities that either have or do not have commercial grant support. We respectfully submit that there does not appear to be a clear rationale for changing the current, transparent practice of acknowledging the corporate source of industry CME grants. In addition, the proposed policy may hinder the transparency already established within the CME enterprise.
Submitted on behalf of the CME Coalition by
Chris Lamond, Executive Director