ACCME clarifies symposia-fee rule

The ACCME clarified its rule on management and reporting of payments to reserve space for satellite symposia.

Payments made by pharma or device firms to hold space for satellite activities, which are accredited CME activities held in conjunction with medical meetings, constitute commercial support and must be made directly to the accredited provider responsible for the activity or a designated non-accredited joint sponsor, the ACCME said.

The clarification, reported by  ACCME in January as part of minutes from its November 2012 board meeting, is effective going forward, the watchdog said.

Many medical societies, in order to assure that satellite symposia would have funding, have required commercial supporters to pay them the symposium fee in advance. That practice was at odds with ACCME standards, which require grantors to hand over any commercial monies to outside CME providers to manage the process as a way to prevent bias.

The clarity “aligns with how commercial supporters have been handling and reporting these fees as part of the independent education grant for a number of years,” said Pamela Mason, director, Medical Education Grants Office, AstraZeneca. “Clarifying how satellite reservation (slot) fees are to be managed and reported as commercial support is important because there will be a more transparent and consistent accounting of the funds by the grantor and accredited provider.”
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