What is CME?
Continuing Medical Education (CME) consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.
What is considered commercial support?
Commercial Support is financial or in-kind contributions given by a commercial interest, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity. Examples of costs associated with CME activities include speaker honoraria or travel expenses, meeting space, meals, and so forth. A commercial interest is defined as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.
What is financial disclosure?
All individuals who are in a position to affect the development, management, presentation or evaluation of an educational activity must disclose all relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest if the relationship occurred within the past 12 months. An individual’s disclosure to learners must include the name of the individual, the name of the commercial interest and the nature of the relationship. For individuals with no relevant financial relationships, learners must be informed that none exist. All disclosures must be presented to learners prior to the beginning of the educational activity. Disclosing to learners all relevant financial relationships assists learners in assessing the potential for bias in information that is presented. This disclosure contributes to the transparency and accountability of the program.
What is a conflict of interest and how can it be resolved?
Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she (or spouse) has a financial relationship. If a conflict exits, it may be resolved by an effective peer review of content to validate the scientific basis of the content or through referencing the “best available evidence” currently accepted within the profession of medicine as acceptable justification for indications and contraindications for the care of patients.
For more information on current definitions and interpretations related to acceptable CME practices, please visit the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
For more information on related policies of the Indiana University School of Medicine:
Policy on Content and Format
Policy on Disclosures Relevant to Potential Commercial Bias
Policy on Resolution of Conflicts of Interest