Saturday, February 27, 2010

Institute of Medicine Attacks Industry Sponsored Continuing Education

Previewed here. Free registration required.

Some problems.

1) No evidence that continuing medical education serves to improve care or patient outcomes. The doctor has almost no recall of any program or of any reading. His patient experiences are seared in. One goes to a doctor not for book learning but for experience.

2) First Amendment. These doctors forget that the Free Speech Clause is a coin with two sides. One is the freedom to listen to any speech one wishes. The banning of CME programs is unlawful.

3) Conflict of Interest. The alternative to commercial CME is more bureaucracy or putting the $2 billion through medical schools, where the members of the Institute happen to work. We do not appreciate the failure to disclose this conflict of interest in their advocacy.

4) Low Quality Will be Unattractive. Government and other bureaucracies do nothing well. Their low quality and surly service will turn off clinicians.

5) Pretextual. There is no crisis in CME. This witch hunt is one against brand medications. If the sponsors were generic makers, nothing about this subject would have come up.

6) Campaign of doctor intimidation. The taking a pen with a logo may constitute a kick back. The reason? See Item 5.

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