As I See It: The Sunshine Act's CME exclusion

Share this article:
Tom Sullivan
Tom Sullivan

On August 1, the regulations implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act took full effect, requiring pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report certain payments and transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals.  The definition for physicians includes all MDs, DOs, dentists, dental surgeons, optometrists, chiropractors and podiatrists. The list of items to report includes most marketing and medical affairs activities. Payments under $10 do not have to be reported, but companies still have to track all payments and report on physicians receiving more than $100 in payments or transfers of value for the year.

One exception: accredited continuing medical education (CME). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)provided an exclusion for payments to faculty and speakers at accredited events and one for attendees at CME events if the food served is not separable, i.e., a buffet or box lunch. To qualify for the exclusion, the ACCME, AMA, American Osteopathic Association, AAFP or American Dental Association must accredit the CME activities. Commercial supporters may not provide a list of or suggest faculty—or pay the faculty directly.

In my opinion, CMS included the CME exclusion because it recognized the value of accredited CME and that the rules in place provide for separation from supporter influence. CME at local venues is the best opportunity for the free exchange of ideas and forums for learning about new medical technologies.

Given the various formats where physicians can participate in accredited CME, it should be considered one option for companies looking to help educate healthcare professionals.


Tom Sullivan is president of Rockpointe, an accredited CME company.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in As I See It

As I See It: Patient Centricity

As I See It: Patient Centricity

A patient who is diagnosed earlier and receives the most efficacious treatment is the least expensive

As I See It: FDA's social-media moves

As I See It: FDA's social-media moves

FDA has insisted that its antique regulations can address every new promotional challenge

As I See It: FDA and marketing materials

As I See It: FDA and marketing materials

The more clarity that FDA provides, the more confident companies can be in their medical communications