Study: no evidence of bias in commercial CME

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An analysis of CME data by two Cleveland Clinic Foundation physicians found little evidence of perceived bias in CME activities.

Their report, published in the January edition of the Association of American Medical Colleges' journal Academic Medicine and entitled “The effect of industry support on participants' perceptions of bias in continuing medical education,” aimed to “obtain prospective evidence of whether industry support of continuing medical education affects perceptions of commercial bias in CME activities.”

The conclusion? “This large, prospective analysis found no evidence that commercial support results in perceived bias in CME activities. Bias level seem quite low for all types of CME activities and is not significantly higher when commercial support is present.”

According to the report, the authors found, when asked “Overall, was this activity satisfactorily free from commercial bias,” between 97.3% to 99.2% of participants answered affirmatively. When asked to rate the degree to which the activity met ACCME requirements that activities be free of commercial bias for or against a product, 95.8% to 99.3% answered “good” or “excellent.”

The authors analyzed information from the 2007 CME activity database of a large, multispecialty academic medical center including 346 activities of various types and 95,429 participants.

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