From a press teleconference to discuss the April 1 JAMA article, “Professional Medical Associations and Their Relationships With Industry: A Proposal for Controlling Conflict of Interest”
$0. That’s how much industry funding there ought to be of professional medical associations according to the authors of the proposal above, who are current or former leaders of the American Acadmey of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology, the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Physicians, and other PMAs. While the article is available only to subscribers, it is described in a press release.
The proposal authors–who took great pains to point out that they expressed their own opinions and not necessarily those of the organizations to which they belong–also said that association leadership should remain totally free of funding, at least during leaders’ tenure; that guideline committee members should be totally free from conflicts (disclosures are not enough); and that pharma-sponsored satellite symposia should be “divorced” from the general meeting schedule at associations’ annual meetings. The associations should not account for them in their scheduling or support or endorse them.
So should docs expect to have to shell out significantly more membership and dues $$ to make up for this? The short answer, my friends, is H-E-double-hockey-sticks YES. Said Dr. James Scully, CEO of the American Psychiatric Association, “There’s going to need to be a cultural shift of some kind where doctors are going to have to think about purchasing their own CME. Along with that should come a demand for the highest quality, best possible education, which we’re going to give them.”
So far, there hasn’t been much response from the major associations, but the thing was just released today. It will come. Meanwhile, what does everyone out there in the real world think?