GlaxoSmithKline plc, the world’s No. 2 selling drugmaker, said in September it will stop taking continuing medical education grant applications from medical education and communication companies.
The world’s top-selling drugmaker, Pfizer Inc., in July 2008, became the first company to steer its money away from these for-profit CME companies, often called MECCs. Critics argue that commercial CME providers are more likely than nonprofit providers to let bias slip into their offerings.
“A MECC can’t say to a drug company grant, ‘I can take this or leave this,’ whereas a medical center can say that, because they derive income from so many other sources,” said Daniel J. Carlat, MD, a prominent critic of industry support for CME and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. “The incentives to create obviously promotional CME are much greater with MECCs than with other organizations.”
The whole shebang.